2019: Book #3
This book was released in 2005.
It was controversial then… and in some circles, it still is.
Here’s a quote and a major premise of the book:
“The Revolution of faith that is emerging today is no different. If you mention that millions of deeply devout Christians whose lives are centered on knowing, loving and serving God live independently of a local church, you can count on criticism from the church establishment.”
That’s from the book “Revolution: Finding Vibrant Faith Beyond the Walls of the Sanctuary,” by George Barna.
Am I denying that millions of people have left the traditional church? Nope.
Do I think these people are pursuing God through other means such as online sermons, Christian radio and so on? Yes, I do.
Barna builds a strong case that the revolution is happening. All the stats and surveys serve as proof that this is actually happening.
The ultimate question: were we designed to do our faith in a community with others?
My answer is yes.
Barna doesn’t deny that at all and he asks a critical question:
“When the writer wrote Hebrews and the statement ‘forsake not assembling of yourselves together’…did that writer have in mind church as we know it today?”
Now that’s a question!
I’m a traditional church guy. I think God works through the church.
I would tell Barna that you can’t base your argument on that one question. Those of us who are traditional church folk don’t base our belief in gathering on just one verse. We also look at the example in the book of Acts and 2,000 years of church history.
So, can God move outside the walls of a sanctuary? I say, yes. He can and He does.
For me, this book shouldn’t be either/or. Instead, it should be this/and.
God works in and through the local church—He also works through conferences, seminars, websites, apps, radio, television, and so much more.
Here are a few of the more powerful quotes from the book:
“Every human being was created by God primarily to know Him, love Him and serve Him. All other activity is superfluous.”
“Although the typical believer contends that the Bible is accurate in what it teaches, he or she spends less time reading the Bible in a year than watching television, listening to music, reading other books and publications.”
“His (Jesus) message was clear: you cannot rely upon public policies and the enforcement of laws to shape your character and lifestyle. It is not your title, fame, fortune, or network that gives you lasting influence; that comes from who you are, in light of your character, your values and your core beliefs. It is those components that drive the decisions and activities of your life.”
You may not agree with Barna’s conclusions but you can’t deny that the American church is shrinking, as is its influence.
In closing, I will say this: perhaps we need to pray for the right kind of revival–not that 30 million people would return to church, but that 30 million people would fall in love with Jesus and follow Him.
I do recommend you read this book but brace your heart… it will challenge you.
That’s book #3 for 2019.
49 more to go.
Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.