5 Stars Out Of 5
Thought Provoking and a Major Must Read
October 10, 2011
Covered with post it notes, filled with highlighted passages and lovingly dog-eared, "Zombie Church:Breathing Life Back into the Body of Christ", turned out to be an in depth, fascinating reading, that is written by a pastor himself, Tyler Edwards, who explores how the church is dying, just going through the motions and how we, the church body, can breathe new life into a "Zombie Church".
Off hand, the title may seem misleading and even questionable, but reading the book,this is a rich, scriptural filled look into how churches today are losing track from their Acts counterparts.
Filled with provocative anecdotes that anyone whose experienced a cold church can relate to, "Zombie Church" isn't a judgmental writing, or even cynical look at Christians and the church, but instead, an eye opening, heartfelt look at how the church of the 21st century is losing its way.
From sharing about a church that whittle down to nine members that didn't seem to really care about their church, other than the fact that it was a church that they had always gone to, to churches that you and I have no doubt experienced at some point or time, "Zombie Church" will open the eyes of the state of churches today.
In an example that is shared,Tyler Edwards writes,<i>"When a church stops making a difference in its community, then it's probably drifting away from the Holy Spirit".</i>
He writes earlier in the book,<i>"When the church neglects the commission of Jesus-stops ministering to the poor and the hurting and stops sharing the love of God with others-then it stops living. It just exists and keeps on existing. Undead. How can a church offer the eternal life of God if it does not have life in its midst".</i>
This is such an eye opening, humbling book to read and yet its not ugly or being condescending; It presents a radical but entertaining and also strives to share what is missing in today's churches and how in the process, the church may not so much as dying, but neither is it living either.
Throughout the book, I found myself, post it notes in hand and a highlighter, marking spots to re-read or to share and even quote from and other's to highlight to go back, mull over some more and reflect at the honesty that Tyler Edwards is sharing from not only just a pastor's perspective, but a follower of Christ, perspective on, what seems to be an unspoken issue with the church.
Its not an easy thing to discuss about, but it is something that we need to talk about and Tyler Edwards does in an eye catching way that definitely does what it intends....draw attention, creates discussion, and causes the reader, to go...what does zombies have to do with church, only to discover, in often humbling way, what "Zombie Church" seeks to convey to the reader.
It's honest, its thought provoking, it tongue in the cheek, commends a second look, its blunt where it needs to be blunt, but in a refreshing loving way that needs to be addressed and not pushed under the rug, "Zombie Church" just revitalizes how we view not just going to church, but how we can be more living, active members of the church body and from within reach out to the community as well.
I truly enjoy reading this book and felt that Tyler Edwards, wonderfully addressed even the issues that many of us may have at one time or another, but was too afraid or intimidated to share with others such as the part about having those days , where we wake up on a Sunday morning and just wanted to stay home.
Don't get the statement wrong, "Zombie Church" isn't discouraging going to church, but it is asking and hitting in both wit and keen observation, why do so many churches seem to have trouble either growing, keeping their members or having that often huge disconnect with their local communities.
I love hearing from a pastor say so honestly, <i>"There are Zombie churches, and many of us have been burned by them."</i> Sadly that is true for many, who find themselves going to church, craving, wanting that relationship with Christ, but in the words of Brennan Manning of Newsboys,<i>"The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable"</i>
For those who are truly wanting to know and grow and have a mature, loving relationships, its often not Christ himself, but those around them, that makes it difficult to find that much needed fellowship and with,"Zombie Church", many of the weaknesses and symptoms of a "Zombie Church" is both explored along with biblical based cures to dealing with a,"Zombie Church".
As Tyler Edwards shared,wisely,<i>"But that's not an acceptable reason to walk away from the church altogether. To do so is to disobey the word of God."</i> as outlined in John 14:15,24).
Instead, you will find the symptoms, but also strong encouragement of not only how to find a living church filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit, but also tips of discouraging a "Zombie Church".
We are reminded that neglecting church, we risk falling into the sins of our past, and not growing ourselves, but becoming members of the, "Living Dead" ourselves, and a wise observation that stopping church, leads not to growth, but a slide into sin.
So, the solution?
Awaken the slumbering church.
....and well...you have to read the book, yourself to find out more how that is done, but reading, "Zombie Church:Breathing Life Back into the Body of Christ", the reader will find out that there is always hope and it is so well worth it that I would recommend it to the people who were burnt by church, those who find themselves faced with a "Zombie Church" and this is a great book to help not only encourage but keep in minds ways to avoid becoming a "Zombie Church".
It's worth the time and I so recommend keeping some post it notes and a highlighter, and maybe a pen on hand....you'll find yourself nodding in agreement, finding a little bit of yourself or maybe a personal experience that you can relate to in, "Zombie Church", but more than anything, a reminder to us all...what we, as a body and as members and as brothers and sisters, need to remember, to avoid and to discourage in the church.
Get the book.
It's just that good.