From personal experience as someone who has left the church, author Brian Sanders examines what factors erode our trust in congregational and institutional churches, while exploring what it really means to "be the church." Sanders then exhorts disillusioned Christians to either remain in your church seeking Christ's blessing and His reform, or to depart gracefully and move purposefully toward the kingdom of God that is beyond institution. In either situation, Brian reminds you to keep listening for God's call.
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.
Brian Sanders was part of a large group of people who all left churches at the same time. Gradually they realized that while their criticism of the church was prophetic, it wasn't productive. Brian is now executive director of the Underground Network, a coalition of churches united by a call to biblical justice and love for the poor. And he is the lead pastor of the network's founding church, the Underground Church. The Likewise book comes out of Brian's dream for a new kind of church. That dream has been formed in part by his degree in applied theology from Spurgeon's College, where he saw what it would take for a church to become a source of life to a community. Here are a couple books that have influenced Brian's thinking: by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch and by Wolfgang Simson. You can access Brian's articles on the resources page of tampaunderground.com.
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