A Way of Life in the World

Spiritual Practices for United Methodists

By Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. Published
A Way of Life in the World
Paperback ISBN: 9780687022465 $17.99 $11.99 (33% discount!) Add to Cart Other retailers

"What does it mean to be a United Methodist?" The answer to this question, says Kenneth H. Carter, Jr., is to live a particular way of life and follow a particular form of discipleship. The distinctive aspects of that way of discipleship are contained in what has recently come to be known as "the practices." Christian practices are things done together, over time, in response to God's grace. They constitute an extended argument against some harmful alternative in the culture; they address and define a fundamental human need; they come to focus in worship; and they add up to a way of life. Carter contends that there are 6 essential practices in the United Methodist tradition: (1) searching the scriptures, (2) generosity with the poor, (3) testimony, (4) singing, (5) Holy Communion, and (6) Christian conferencing.

Written primarily for those who lead in United Methodist congregations, this book will give the reader not only an understanding of what the central United Methodist practices are, but also how they can be taught. Being formed in and by these practices does not happen overnight; it happens across a lifetime of observing the practices in others and trying them out oneself. Neglecting the Christian practices--failing to attend to them--can mean a life devoid of much of the purpose and power that life in the Spirit can hold.


"A Way of Life in the World is an invitation to engage in practices that form individuals and communities in accordance with the Christian gospel. This pastorally sensitive, theologically sound, historically grounded book is a needed alternative to the promises of church renewal through gimmicks and marketing techniques. Those who take seriously the admonition to 'be in the world but not of the world' will be informed, inspired, and strengthened by this book. --Kenneth L. Carder Director, The Center for Excellence in Ministry Duke University Divinity School

"Can a pastor, parent, scholar, servant lead the church of the twenty-first century back to the future? The answer is yes and the proof is in these pages. Rev. Kenneth H. Carter, Jr., leads us forward into the spiritual practices that have sustained Christians for centuries. Those who read this book will discover (and rediscover) the riches of God's grace through the ordinary experiences of life. --Tom Albin, Dean of the Upper Room Chapel, Nashville, Tennessee

"How can we connect our heads, our hearts, and our hands in faithfulness? In this wonderful book, Ken Carter insightfully points the way toward faithful Christian living, weaving together the significance of Christian practices and the wisdom of the Wesleyan tradition. Don't miss it."
L. Gregory Jones
Dean and Professor of Theology
Duke University Divinity School

About the Author

Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.

Kenneth H. Carter Jr. is Resident Bishop of the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He is a moderator of the Commission on a Way Forward and in 20182020 will serve as president of the Council of Bishops.
Bishop Carter is the author of ten books, including Pray for Me, A Way of Life in the World, The Gifted Pastor, and Near the Cross. He is a contributor to Feasting on the Word and The Wesley Study Bible. He formerly served as senior pastor of Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where his ministry was described by the American Religious Historian Diana Butler Bass in her Christianity for the Rest of Us, and superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District in Western Northern Carolina, which included seventy churches across seven counties, all in the region of Appalachia.

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