Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church by Winn Collier

The search committee at Granby Presbyterian Church is exhausted; the process of finding a pastor “had become a circus show.” Amy, one of the committee members, decides to write a straightforward letter to potential candidates. She asks, “We’d like to know if you’re going to use us . . . Is our church going to be your opportunity to finally enact that one flaming vision you’ve had in your crosshairs ever since seminary, that one strategic model that will finally get this Church-thing straight? Or might we hope that our church could be a place where you’d settle in with us and love alongside us, cry with us and curse the darkness with us, and remind us of how much God’s crazy about us? . . . Do you actually want to be our pastor?”

When Jonas McAnn, a disillusioned insurance salesman who had left the ministry 14 years earlier because of burnout, reads Amy’s letter, his soul is stirred. He’s weary too. He needs a place to start over—not as a strategist, CEO, or manager, but as a pastor living a life of faith in Christ alongside his church family.

When Jonas accepts the church’s call, he decides to continue writing letters to them, “looking for every possible way to keep the conversation going.” Spanning the years between 2008 and 2015, the letters share his faith struggles, his growing love for the congregation, his perplexity and dismay at trends he witnesses in the North American church, and his sadness at what he sees in society.

This fictional collection of letters, both humorous and tear-inducing, is filled with pastoral wisdom and earthy insights. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone who is longing to grow as a Christian and understand more fully what it means to be the church in the world today.  (Eerdmans)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.
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