Vacation Reading: Who Stole My Church?

Who Stole My Church?
What to Do When the Church You Love Tries to Enter the 21st Century
by Gordon MacDonald

I couldn’t put this book down.  Literally.

It took me awhile to find my groove with the style of the book (it’s “fiction” but the author is playing himself), but once I did I was hooked.  Gordon MacDonald created a fictional old New England church trying to find a balance between honoring the great history of the church and its older members and finding relevance in today’s world.

Did I say fictional?  I’m pretty sure MacDonald was writing my biography.

Anyway, the only “real” characters in this book were MacDonald and his wife Gail.  Everybody else was made up, including the church.  But here’s the thing – every congregation is going through the same thing right now.  Even though this was technically fiction, in creating a church like this MacDonald was able to speak to pastors serving older congregations all around the country.

Because this was fiction, there aren’t a ton of quotes I was able to pull out (you’d have to understand the conversational context), but here are a few!

“We have to make sure that we’re speaking into the lives of people in a way that they can hear us.  No point in answering questions they’re not asking.  And no point speaking to issues they don’t care about.”

“If you believe in evangelism, you have to go all the way … all the way … to meet the person you want to influence Jesus.  You get involved in their lives to such a depth that they see your realness, your authenticity.  And then, in a moment that only the Holy Spirit can arrange, a wonderful transaction happens.  You may never know the moment it happens.”

“Virtually every generation produces some kind of music that reflects its own view of reality.  Both the notes and the words of their music will tell you how they see life and what’s most important to them.  And this is true in the Christian movement. … And the question – not an easy one to answer at all – arises: how does each generation open the door for the next generation to sing the gospel in its own fresh way?”

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