Friday, December 4, 2015

A book that addresses the problems and power of the church

Church has been a big part of my life from the very start. I grew up in Sunday school and vacation bible school programs and with a Deacon for a father. My family always tried to be good friends to the pastor's family and my dad was involved in the governing of the church. We saw the nitty gritty of what makes a church run and what causes a church to flail. We ended up leaving my childhood church when I was 18 due to  long term, unhealthy attitudes and actions taken by the leadership towards the pastor there. We saw a lot of drama and hurt- the kind of stuff that causes people to be leery of churches or leave them behind all together. But my parents knew a truth- the Church is a diverse group of people, sinners, who are united under common beliefs and hope but still run into contentions and hurts between human beings. We now attend another small community church that we love and brought me some very good friends and even my husband! We love this little body of believers but you know what? We've also been hurt by other Christians there and seen some ugly issues happen here as well. No church, until Christ's return, is immune from human error.
 Unstoppable Gospel: Living Out the World-Changing Vision of Jesus's First Followers is a jam packed resource of a book that does a very through job addressing the issues that the church runs into and more than that, the power of the church. Gregg Matte maps out the history of the first church and the foundational beliefs they anchored their faith in and found their mission through. He stresses the importance of intense prayer and reminds us of our mission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (and how amazingly possible that is in today's modern world!).  Matte brings us back to the core truth that a successful church isn't measured by how many ministries there are, attendance numbers or how relevant the service is. A successful church is all about Jesus.
 Unstoppable Gospel goes on to give some great advice on how to find a balance in tithing, to slow down and spot opportunities to minister to searching hearts, and how to find the true measure of the sacrifice required of following Christ. Matte finishes out the book with a challenge to consider the higher disciplines of a life in mission work and fasting. I feel this book covers a lot of bases when it comes to what the church was created to be, is in reality at times and can be thru the power of the gospel.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

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