Review: Letters to the Church

Letters to the Church

Letters the the Church
By Francis Chan
David C Cook, 9780830776580, September 2018, 224pp.

The Short of It:

If you’ve ever questioned the concept of “church” and whether American churches succeed in carrying out their mission, then this is an excellent book to get you thinking.

The Rest of It:

Many of you might be familiar with Francis Chan but if not, I’ll give you a little bit of background. He founded Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Ca. Cornerstone had humble beginnings but quickly grew into the megachurch that it is today.  As this was happening, Chan realized that although his numbers were impressive and people were pouring in, only a small percentage of the congregation was actually serving or using their God-given gifts.

This weighed heavily on him.

Chan knew this was not the purpose of the church and that he had failed its members by not building up his few. They relied on him to be fed and if that didn’t happen, they grew to be unsatisfied. They didn’t seem to know how to seek God out on their own. After discussing this with his wife, Chan made a difficult decision to leave the church. He packed up his family and left the country to pursue what he felt was missing at Cornerstone.

Letters to the Church is a collection of his findings and let me tell you, it’s a fascinating read. He talks about the value of in-home ministry. Much of the book talks about church “planting” and what he’s discovered through the years. As I was reading, I felt inspired to do more as a leader. I felt hopeful and encouraged.

But I felt that the book had a few issues as well.

For one, if you attend church, you will for sure see similarities between your own and Cornerstone. I feel as if the book was written in such a way that it would be impossible for you not to relate to it. Perhaps, it’s focus was too broad? A lot of churches today target the non-follower by adding cup holders, coffee houses, contemporary music and the like. Is this necessarily a bad thing?

The other thing that stood out is that Chan didn’t really seek the view points of others at Cornerstone before writing this book. If he did, he didn’t include them in it. So this is solely Chan’s view of the megachurch model. I think it would have been helpful to hear some other opinions of those from the U.S.

My life group is on a break between series so we decided to read and discuss this book during the break. I think it’s a very important read but I also think that while reading it, you could find yourself picking apart your own church which Chan admitted, was not his intention. For such a heavy topic, it’s very readable and will get you thinking about how you view the church as a whole.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Sunday Matters: Can We Just Get Through the Month?

Sunday Matters

You guys are the best. Everyone I’ve “met” here through blogging are true heroes in my book. No matter what is going on in my life, I always receive the best support and the nicest comments from y’all. I so appreciate you.

The end of the year continues to be rough in my house. I feel beaten and bruised from all of it. Too much scheduled, too much to plan for the coming academic year. Just, too much. We jump one hurdle only to see another one coming up.

School ends on June 6th but summer school starts on June 3rd. Who plans these things?

Right Now:

My health has improved. This is great news and the reason why I am now allowing myself a half cup of coffee on the weekends. All of my stomach ailments are still there but manageable. Just trying to really be careful about processed foods and generally, what I put in my body.

At this moment I am savoring this half cup of coffee.

This Week:

Thank goodness for long weekends. On Monday, we will be grilling up burgers and hot links and enjoying all the traditional sides. I used to make everything on my own but why make potato salad when your supermarket makes the best there is?

The rest of the week will be hectic because of finals. I can’t get this kid to study even if her life depended on it.

Reading:

I am finishing up The Invited. I had really hoped to have it reviewed by now but last week was brutal. I’ll get the review up this week.

For the long weekend, I wanted a really good book to speed through so I am going with No Exit!

Watching:

I haven’t had time to watch a darn thing. I’ve been a flipper lately. I just sit there flipping channels and catching pieces of things like Bridesmaids, or Castaway (the most depressing movie ever), or Toy Story, which I found delightful all over again. I sat for half an hour watching a documentary on Ted Bundy. That was fascinating.

New Things I’ve Tried:

The one thing I want to share is The Nothing is Wasted podcast. It’s about pain and how we deal with it. All kinds of pain and the trauma that goes with it. It is Christian based but the conversations are very thought-provoking. I’ve been totally absorbed on my drive home.

The Nothing is Wasted Podcast

Grateful for:

This platform. I don’t post all that often but having this platform to share my thoughts has been so valuable to me over the years. I am one of those “head-thinkers” where a lot of stuff spins around in my head 24/7 so it’s helpful to have a platform like this to get some of it out of my head.

Are you grilling-up anything special this weekend? See how I popped back to food?

Chatting with friends about books and life…