So by now you may have heard that we had three Cape Town book launches and one in Durban [with one coming up in Oakland, Americaland in June and then hopefully at a later stage one in Pretoria ad Johannesburg], but what exactly is it all about?
To give you an idea, i thought i would drop a little bit of a teaser so you can get an idea.
In many ways this is a book written for people who love Jesus but have been hurt by the church somewhere along the way and so are a little wary of being associated with one any more… trying to be ‘christians without church’…
In other ways this is a book written for those who attend a church service once a week and yet are not necessarily seeing the transformation in their lives and in the lives of those around them and so on some senses might have slipped into a kind of ‘going through the motions’…
And for everyone in between, this is hopefully a challenge or an encouragement or a breath of fresh air or some inspiration towards some ways you can get your creativity on in terms of life to the full and seeing the kingdom of God grow itself here on earth as it is in heaven.
Not all of it is for everyone, but if you are a follower of Jesus, then i’m pretty sure there is at least something in here for you, hopefully of a significant nature.
Here is a short taste from early on in the book.
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‘That is maybe how it is with the church sometimes. That it is not always intentional. Sometimes it is just through not saying it as opposed to deliberately holding it back. Usually it is because the church is made up of messy, broken people who have been hurt and who hurt, all the while trying to get it right, for the most part.
And so we end up at a place that, if we’re completely honest with ourselves, looks a lot like Augustine might have suggested when he said, “The church is a whore, but she’s my mother”. One of the biggest problems we face, I think, is that some people get way too hung up on “the church is a whore” part while others get way too protective of the “church is my mother” bit. So we are left with a ‘them’ and an ‘us’ no matter which side we stand:
# The church is the best thing in the world, ever.
# The church is the worst thing in the world, ever.
Both sides are right. And both sides are wrong.
The purpose of this book is to hopefully invite each side to take a few steps close to “the other” so that we can move away from that kind of language and mindset altogether. There are enough people both inside and outside the church, who are quick to throw stones at it. Whether we see it as the building or the people or the meeting or the tradition, it has become an easy target.
What is going to be more helpful is if we can take a step back from the muck, put any kind of frustrations or anger or resentment or bitterness aside, and start to look a little harder, listen a little more closely and return to the One who this church thing is all about. Maybe then we’ll truly be able to kiss hating [or just really, really, really not liking] the church goodbye.
You see, it was never meant to be a concept… or an organisation… or a meeting… it was meant to be an organism – living, breathing, causing revolution, pointing people towards Jesus, and turning the world on its head.
Maybe you don’t see it like that. Maybe you’ve never seen it like that. I urge you to read this book with an open mind. Head back with me to scripture and see what God says about the church – His plan and idea and mission for it.
Because maybe once you’ve really seen that, you will find a whole host of new reasons to love being an active engaging communitytransforming member of this living Church.’
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i would love to see you at one of the Book Launches… and if you’re in Oakland, USA, or Joburg/Pretoria, get hold of me, cos we are hoping to be dropping in there for a book share of your own…
[For an excellent post on the idea of your church map possibly being wrong, take a read of this one]