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Fed up with church

The huge number of ‘floating Christians’ today indicates that many are keen to pursue their life with God but not comfortable with church. There may be many reasons, and this book explores some of them. It is So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman (Windblown Media, 2006, ISBN 978-0-9647292-2-3).

The book reflects the American church scene more than the British, but it offers many broad principles that apply across the board. It is written by Jake, a frustrated church leader, in the first person and describes his conversations with the mysterious John, whose walk with God is clearly more warm and spontaneous than his own.

Overall, the book advocates a ‘loose’ approach to church. This is fine as far as it goes, but it fails to address in any serious way the role of elders and deacons as presented in the NT, and makes no mention at all of the ‘Ephesians 4’ ministries. And it doesn’t tackle the vital question of how, in such a loose setup, there can be any solid preaching and teaching—another strong NT emphasis. But it does bring a healthy challenge to all forms of legalism, ritualism and the crushing pressure to meet other people’s expectations.

It’s easy reading, with much to bless your heart, and it will leave you with a nice warm glow inside!

We're not changed by the promises we make to God, but by the promises he makes to us. When we make commitments that we can live up to only for a brief period, our guilt multiplies when we fail.  (p45)

Real body life isn't built on accountability. It's built on love. We're to encourage one another in the journey without conforming people to the standard we think they need.  (p51)

Until you discover how to trust God for everything in your life, you will constantly seek to control others for the things you think you need.  (p63)

Don't think you can control God by your actions because it isn't like that. If we could control God, he'd turn out like us. Wouldn't it be better to let him have his way with us so we become like him?  (p71)

Those who treat leaders as if they have some special anointing are the most susceptible to being deceived by them.  (p93)

The system must devour what it cannot control.  (p108)

People who are growing in their relationship with Father will hunger for real connections with his family. He is the God of community. That's his nature, and knowing him draws us into that community, not only with God himself, but also with others who know him. It is not our obligation. It's his gift.  (p113)

Once ministry becomes a source of income, you'll find yourself manipulating people to serve you rather than Father's love moving you to serve them.  (p124)

You can't press a caterpillar into a butterfly mould and make it fly. It has to be transformed from the inside.  (p133)

No institutional arrangement will ever contain all that the church is. Don't look for it institutionally. Look for it relationally. Certainly the New Testament talks about the priorities of that church—Jesus as its sole head and focus, daily encouragement among believers, plural and lateral leadership, open participation, and an environment of freedom so people can grow in him.  (p154)

When people are living in the life of Jesus, they will treasure every opportunity to connect with other brothers and sisters who are also on this journey. lt will not be something they have to do, but something they wouldn't ever want to live without.  (p156)

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