Judson Press Authors Call on Congregations to be Elastic and Adaptive

VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/15/23)—For congregations to navigate today’s cultural and political issues, they must learn to listen, trust and grow. The new Judson Press book “From Distrust to Trust: Controversies and Conversations in Faith Communities” will guide them in doing just that. This timely resource by Matthew Sturtevant and Timothy Bonner recognizes the church’s need for authenticity and faith to build trust when there are increasing issues that threaten to divide us.

Sharing the stories of three congregational churches that have dealt with the reality of polarizing controversial issues—in this case, same-sex marriage—the authors reflect on the role of polity, process, and preaching in helping churches become what they call “elastic” and “adaptive,” stretching and engaging to meet the needs of all persons in their communities.

Matthew B. Sturtevant, M.Div., D.Min., is one of the pastors of First Baptist Church of Lawrence, Kansas. He has ministered in Baptist churches in Kentucky and Kansas since 1998 and studied at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary.

Timothy J. Bonner, M.S., M.A., D.Min., LCP, is a licensed clinical psychotherapist in Lawrence, Kansas, with more than three decades of experience in community mental health centers. He completed the study that is the basis for this book for his dissertation at Central Theological Seminary where he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in May 2020.

As what Molly T. Marshall, Ph.D., president of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities calls “seasoned and perceptive practitioners,” Sturtevant and Bonner have delivered a resource that is “creative and practical, informed by excellent scholarship” and offering “constructive guidance.”

Retired Senior Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, G. Wade Rowatt, Ph.D. of Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, recommends “this hopeful, frank, and brutally honest book for serious seminarians preparing for congregational ministry. It is a must-read for pastors, church staff, and lay leaders who long for a vibrant, open, and caring congregation. This volume offers healing, hope, guidance, and paths for reconciliation.”

“From Distrust to Trust” is available at JudsonPress.com and through other book retailers.

Founded in 1824, Judson Press, a publishing ministry of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, produces Christ-centered spiritual and leadership resources for the transformation of individuals, congregations and communities.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.