Item description for Life After Church: God's Call to Disillusioned Christians by Brian Sanders...
Overview Ready to leave church? Sanders reflects on the things that whittle away at Christians trust in the church as an institution, then explores what it means, at the heart of it all, to be church.
Publishers Description Life without church. It's getting easier to imagine. And maybe you already left. A leaver, then. Committed to Jesus, not an institution. Perhaps you've left your church in spirit, remaining in the pew. Outwardly silent. Secretly bored. In either case, Brian Sanders has a word for you. Out of his own experience as a leaver, Brian distills the complex problem into two viable options: Stay. Remain in your church with the blessing of Christ and in the power of his great vision for the church to come. Take the path of revolutionary leaving. Move purposefully, seeking the kingdom of God that is beyond institutions. Whether Sunday mornings find you alone in a one-bedroom apartment or isolated in a church of thousands, Brian reminds you to keep listening for God's call. Reform the church that is Christ's. Be it from the inside out, or the outside in.
Citations And Professional Reviews Life After Church: God's Call to Disillusioned Christians by Brian Sanders has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 04/01/2008 page 69
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Studio: IVP Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.29" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.53" Weight: 0.56 lbs.
Release Date Nov 8, 2007
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830836063 ISBN13 9780830836062
Availability 0 units.
More About Brian Sanders
Martin Jenkins has written numerous acclaimed books for children, including a retelling of Jonathan Swift's GULLIVER'S TRAVELS and several nonfiction titles. He lives in Cambridge, England. Brian Sanders is an illustrator whose work has appeared on book jackets, in pop-up books, and even on postage stamps. He lives in Essex, England.
Reviews - What do customers think about Life After Church: God's Call to Disillusioned Christians?
A Balanced Perspective Mar 22, 2010
I appreciated Brian Sanders approach to addressing a very sensitive but necessary issue facing many Spirit-filled Christians today. I especially respected the manner in which he asks his readers to grapple with the Biblical definition of "the Church." He makes it very clear that whether a believer "leaves" or "stays" within the congregational church is not the main issue, but whether they follow biblical disciplines in the context of an authentic and accountable community. Both pastors and laity need to read this book to enhance their walk with Christ and to ultimately follow the Master's call.
The Title Delivers What It Says But.... Feb 19, 2009
Brian Sanders delivers what the title of the book is: Life After Church. It does exist and it can happen. Before I get to the "But...." let me say what I like.
He gives some good advice on what can be a painful time. Some of what the book talks about I have been way past for some time now, like the question of "should I stay or should I go now?" (I'll leave my review of The Clash for some other time ). If you find yourself in that situation then give the man a read. You just might find a little stability in a turbulent storm. I also like the empahsis on the Kingdom of God. That was the emphasis in Jesus' ministry and we need to understand it a little better if we claim to be his followers. Another thing I like is, for those of us who have already left, the advice to make something better, not just tear down what we don't like about traditional church structures. I have seen enough of that in my own spiritual pilgrimage. It doesn't take much to point out obvious failures but making a viable alternative sometimes gets lost. And, of course, trying to find people who are willing to let go of the comfortable methods and structures we were raised with and go with something else.... well that's another story.
Now comes the "But...." In chapter 4, Brian Sanders shares what he feels "church" is in a New Testament sense. To have it involves worship, community, and mission. If you only have 2 out of 3 then it's not what church is in a New Testament sense. It might not be bad but you can't call it "church' either. I agree with that 100%. In the New Testament, "church" NEVER meant a building or a meeting time for religious activities. It always meant a gathering of people, called together for a specific purpose. I agree completely with what Brian Sanders says about "church" in chapter 4. I can also say that I have never experienced "church' in a New testament sense after being a follower of Jesus for over 30 years. I've been to religious country clubs that called themselves churches and I've had religious CEOs that called themselves pastors. But I've never experienced anything remotely like what the New Testament calls "church". The bottom line is this: if where you are going doesn't measure up to what the New Testament calls "church" then my question is, why are you still going there? In my opinion, this is where Brian Sanders gets a little wishy-washy. I don't understand how you can tell somebody to stay somewhere that does not measure up to what the New Testament calls "church". Maybe I have this belief because I spent 25 years trying to change things from the inside of what most would call "church" and never got anywhere.
This is why I could only give 3 stars. I'm not saying this is not a good book. I think it is. I do not want to discourage someone from reading it. Anyone who finds themselves disillusioned with what they have experienced as "church" should do themselves a favor and read this book. I just don't agree with all of Brian Sanders conclusions like I'm sure he wouldn't agree with all of my own.
Convicting Feb 4, 2009
I didn't want to like this book. I thought of myself as a believer and someone who was a part of the church. Coming out of this book, that perspective is challenged. A member of the church actively seeks out changes that need to be made, they don't wait for others to get around to it. Reading this book over a summer where I was becoming a little disillusioned with the church was convicting in a way I don't want to forget. Sanders was able to articulate a lot about my frustrations with the church and what I should be doing with those. Certainly a provocative read, and one I wish entire congregations could be forced to read.
I highly recommend this book Jan 28, 2009
Life After Church was an incredibly hopeful book. Sanders pegged both the positive and negative reasons for leaving exactly. At times it seemed that he had been in the room listening to conversations that I have had.
He doesn't just stop at the act of leaving. As the book progresses he begins to answer the question that most of leavers have of 'what next' and 'how to stay connected to the body of Christ' if you have left.
Sanders also gives almost leavers or those who have checked out of church but still sit on a pew advice. He shows them how to stay and not be miserable but to make a change in their congregations.
One interesting aspect of this book is that he ties its ideas into what George Barna talks about in his book Revolution. The author introduces the idea of revolutionary leaving to form new communities to carry out God's work. He gives advice on how to leave in a positive way for both you and your former institution.
Throughout the book, he ties his ideas back to a scriptural foundation with a natural, not preachy, style. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is fed up with traditional church structure but does not want to descend into negative do-nothing-ism and complaining.
Maybe We Have It Backwards Jan 16, 2009
Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you love God? Do you want, and try, to become more like Christ each day? Do you feel like your local church is helping you, or hindering you? If you have ever wondered if you are the only one who feels disconnected from God during church services, this book is for you. If you sit through a "worship service" and wonder what abundant life would be like, this book is for you. If you have ever wondered why you are so frustrated with church, this book is for you. So many times, we as church leaders accuse those who leave the church of being uncommitted and backsliders. Maybe, just maybe, people are leaving the church to find God. Maybe we have it backwards. Read this book.