Monday, September 22, 2008

Who Stole My Church?

I just finished reading: WHO STOLE MY CHURCH? Here is my review and reflections.

This book is a fictional story that reflects the real world of many churches today. This is a story of the struggle between multiple generations within congregations as those who have served faithfully and sacrificially for decades are now asked to let their church change style and structure to reach the current culture. The real life pastor author, Gordon MacDonald, allow you to walk alongside an imaginary group of older church members as they discover God, themselves, and the younger generations within the church and community. As I followed these senior saints on this discovery journey I came to understand the churches I have served and now serve better. Hopefully I also gained an insight or two in how to better lead them. This group of seniors and their discoveries were in many ways like the Transition Team that leads a congregation through the intentional interim process.

The book cover says of the author. “Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor for more than forty years in five different communities. He has seen churches drop their long-standing programs and traditions … in an effort to mobilize younger members. He has also seen the bitterness and heartbreak that sometimes chokes older members who have spent their lives building that very community, dedicating hours of service and significant amounts of money in tithes. These ‘builders and boomers’ fell that their churches have been hijacked from underneath them, that someone has come in and stolen what they’ve worked so hard to create. While he understands the frustrations that come with change, MacDonald believes that finding a way to move gracefully into the 21st century is necessary for churches to survive.”

So what did I get from this book?
1) A greater sensitivity to the struggle that people face when coping with changes in the church.
2) A good review of historical changes both in the culture and the churches that gives perspective for dealing with the current era of change.
3) Some wonderful “seed thoughts” for a few sermons or Bible studies on how Jesus tried to prepare His disciples for the changes that were going to soon take place in their religious practices.

This book is well worth the money to buy it and the time to read it for anyone who is part of a congregation dealing with change.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Hey There,

Glad to read your blog. I am a student at Denver Seminary where Pastor Gordon MacDonald is currently serving as interim president. And, I graduated from High Point University in 2002, so I was excited to see your location!