July 11, 2013

Who Stole My Church - Book Review

A couple of weeks ago a lady in my church, who has been at the church since I was about five years old, told me she was reading a book that she thought I might enjoy.  A couple of days later she handed me the book and told me that I could borrow it if I wanted.  The book was called,Who Stole My Church? by Gordon MacDonald.  The subtitle is, What to Do When the Church You Love Tries to Enter the 21st Century.  It was feeling a bit too close to home, needless to say, I was a tad nervous.

But then I started reading the book.

Here is the premise of the book:  Gordon MacDonald, a real-life Pastor and the author of this book, decided to tackle the challenging topic of Church Change and Church Reinvention by writing a story.  He uses himself and his wife as real characters in the book, but the church and the other characters are all fictional.  He then begins to break down the different topics commonly associated with change through the form of dialogue.  He allows you to discover the correct conclusions by watching the characters discover them as they converse and experience the Bible in relation to Christ's Church in the day to day. He also steers you away from harmful and destructive attitudes by giving you a glimpse of what those stubborn attitudes look like in the real world with real people.

I absolutely enjoyed this book.  I made it through the first half of the book in my first sitting. And since then I have been telling people all about it every chance I get. I am looking forward, if this lady in my church won't mind, to loaning it to others in the church.  I am also considering purchasing a couple of other copies to pass out in the church, I would love to just give a few of these away.

My favorite part of this book is near the end when the topic shifts away from music (and other typical change related discussion) to those who might enter our church. What might they experience?  How are they received?  Lets talk beyond the surface and dig into our hearts.  If we are honest, many of us only want those who will make us feel comfortable coming in the doors of our church.

If you get a chance to pick this up, it is worth the read.  Especially if you are in a church that feels like it is being reinvented or if it needs to be reinvented!