Item description for When the Church Leaves the Building by David Fredrickson...
This is the story of a man and congregation that valued God's life above their own experience and the amazing journey that led them to undertake. They discovered what most people only dare to dream. You'll be shocked at the choices they made and inspired by the lessons they learned. This is not the story of a well constructed success strategy and how to implement it, but of a people willing to go on a journey even though they could only see one step at a time and whose destination was far from clear. The costs were considerable, the rewards far greater.
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Reviews - What do customers think about When the Church Leaves the Building?
Incredible testimony by one who has been there. Jun 15, 2008
What this book reveals, among other things, is there is good reason God selected David Fredrickson to be a leader among those leaving the institition, and for a very practical reason - David has a breadth and scope of experience that makes him virtually invunerable to criticism, by those remainging in the institution; criticism that will sound like this: "If he had only tried such-and-such a technique!", or "There are churches overseas, doing it right; he could have modeled his own church after them." and etc. David's varied international experience, and the willingness he displayed to try new approaches to "doing church", clearly demonstrates that he didn't leave the institution lightly; or for lack of trying to make the "system" work.
I think the book has multiple benefits: First, if you believe, like I do, that David Fredrickson (I am acquainted with him and his ministry through the website wwww.familyroommedia.com) is powerfully anoited to lead the way for those leaving the failed church institutional paradigm, than this book powerfully establishes David's credentials to be such a leader. Second, it is a powerful account, from the perspective behind the pulpit, of what it means to give yourself heart, mind and soul to the church institution, and then come face to face with the truth that the system (at least as practised today) just doesn't work. Amazing to me is that David even led his own church to eventually abandon all traditional style, with David sitting in the pews along with flock (David leading as minimally as possible), and even this extreme approach failed to produce the fruit of true Christ discipleship, and achieve the goal of significant spiritual growth and maturity among the flock .
In this book David fails to offer much guidance as to: "Now what?", once you have left the institution, but he freely admits he himself has more questions about the future than answers. He simply challenges the reader to beleive, as he does, that perils of the journey ahead are worth risking, when the goal is finding the place of true abiding in Christ, as Christ intended.
I feel confident, that when all is said and done, that this book and David's name will appear in the pantheon of important books and people in the movement away from a failed church paradigm, and toward the new thing that Christ is birthing. Read this book and come along for the ride. Perhaps you too are a leader waiting in the wings, and this book will inspire you on to great works for the true Kingdom that Christ is building.
Another good book to check out on the same theme is: The Way Church Ought To Be - Volume I: Ninety-five Proposition For a Return to Radical Christianity
Finally! Jan 2, 2007
My husband and I had been coming to these same conclusions about "being the church" instead of "doing church". It was great to hear it from someone else. The writing itself isn't terrific and it is sometimes difficult to tell when you're reading a flashback or a current story. Overall a very good book. The author doesn't claim to have all the answers but it is an honest look at the current church system and how it has come so far from what the church was intended to be and how it was supposed to function. He backs his position up with scripture and honestly evaluates the pastor's role in perpetuating the current dysfunction in what we are used to calling "church". If you've sat through or preached one too many sermons, or if you're burned out from being at the church building every time the doors are open, you'll love this book.