Saturday, 8 December 2007

What does a real community look like?

This post covers spiritual topics, but it's relevant for anyone who's part of a community - or wants to be, or wishes they weren't.

So you don't want to go to church anymore
is by Jake Colsen, a pseudonym for two authors who have opted out of the organised religion game that many people call church.

This book, a fictitious story based on the two authors' experience, does a fantastic job of raising concerns that many people have about church, and offering some solutions that are simple, but very, very scary.

It's not only fantastic reading and thinking in and of itself, it's also a powerful example of storytelling as a way to communicate complex ideas. It's a journey, this book.

And there's a podcast to go with it, appropriately called "The God Journey". Some very good listening to be had.

Don't misunderstand what this book is about. It's not simply saying don't do church in buildings any more. It's saying set aside the shackles of structure and set your relationships free. Advice that's just as much needed for the corporate world as for the church world.

As one of the authors said in a recent podcast, they're not against the "organised" part of organised religion, but against the "religion" part. It's become a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true: God wants a relationship with us, not for us to try to please him with religion.

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