Jesus Called - He Wants His Church Back: What Christians and the American Church are Missing - eBook  -     By: Ray Johnston
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Jesus Called - He Wants His Church Back: What Christians and the American Church are Missing - eBook

Thomas Nelson / 2016 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9780718079925
ISBN-13: 9780718079925

Publisher's Description

As early as 50 AD, Christians had gotten away from knowing who Jesus really is. Our generation is no different.

In every decade we, as Americans, lost something important that we couldn't afford to lose:

  • In the 1950's, we lost innocence
  • In the 1960's, we lost respect for authority
  • In the 1970's, we lost love
  • In the 1980's, we lost values
  • In the 1990's, we lost faith
  • In the 2000's, we lost security
  • In the 2010's, we lost hope in the future


What can restore what we've lost? Only Jesus. Jesus gave us His name, His friendship, and a commission to accept responsibility for ourselves and for the world. When introduced to His wordsandways we'll rediscover the Jesus who:

  • Wants His enemies won over, not wiped out
  • Wants you to stop playing it safe
  • Believed great things were possible no matter what things are like right now
  • Was full of grace and truth
  • Unleashed compassion
  • Believed no one was too far from God to return to Him
  • Came to seek and to save that which was lost
  • Loves the church                                                                    

Pastor Ray Johnston shares the Jesus of the Bible and how we can be Christians without being jerks. He reveals how the radical message of the gospel calls us to love and serve not only our neighbors but our enemies as well. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Jesus' mission is clear—risk everything in order to take care of people, starting in our home, neighborhoods, cities, and those in need around the world. That's the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Author Bio

Ray Johnston has a rich, varied background as a speaker, writer, and founder of Thrive Communications and the Thrive Leadership Conference. Author of the bestselling book The Hope Quotient, he is the founding pastor of Bayside Church, one of the largest churches in the United States, with more than twelve thousand people. Ray has spoken to more than four million people over the last ten years and served on the board of trustees at Azusa Pacific University, his alma mater. Ray and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.

Product Reviews

4.4 Stars Out Of 5
4.4 out of 5
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
4.6 out Of 5
(4.6 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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  1. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A needed message for the church today
    May 19, 2016
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What would happen is Jesus was truly the head of the church? What if church boards would ask of every decision, What would Jesus have us do? What would happen if each of us reconnected with Jesus and actually followed Him?

    Johnston reviews the cultural shifts of the last seven decades, showing us how we have come to this place of Christianity without Jesus. He suggests that this coming decade could have a great impact for Christian faith. But there will be stiff opposition for the hearts of people. He explores the impressions people have of Christians and the church today, giving five reasons people are fed up with the church. Moving forward on a strong foundation will be necessary.

    Johnston shares how Acts 2:45-47 transformed him and his church. He and his church saw their compassion unleashed. They minister to those near and far through sacrificial giving and loving action. He wants us to live with that same passion. He wants us to quit playing it safe.

    This is a very encouraging book. He shares stories from life and the Bible to illustrate his desire for Christians and the church. It was so encouraging to read of adults to little children taking life changing steps of faith. Johnston includes many practical principles and steps to help us live that life of passion and compassion.

    I am amazed at the story of Bayside Church. Pastors and church leaders who read this book will see a very different way of doing church. Rather than watering down the gospel, it is truly lived out.

    I am amazed at the many individual stories too. Every reader will be encouraged, reading about people with passion and compassion for the Lord's work.

    I recommend this book to church leaders and laypeople alike. Reading this book will give you hope for the future of the church. I do hope this book will receive good exposure and serious attention. It is a much needed message to Christians and the church today.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Lurking behind a cheesy title is a really good book ...
    May 5, 2016
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The title: Jesus Called, He Wants His Church Back.

    Could you possibly come up with a cheesier title than that?!

    Except, in this case, the title really does work with the content, and lurking behind that cheesy title is a very good book!

    How good?

    On my ministry website is a page for a Self-Help Toolbox, a list of resources which is really recommended reading on a variety of topics. Im adding this book by Ray Johnston (published by W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson) to that list.

    Johnston sets a context of first establishing his love for the Christian church, then identifies some of the key things that Christians and the American church are missing. Thats nothing new the market is flooded with books by people hurling stones at the church and berating what is the bride of Christ.

    But that isnt what Johnston does.

    John Ortberg writes the following in the books Foreward: Ray is passionate about the church. He loves it with his whole heart. He loves it just the way it is, but he loves it too much to let it stay that way (kind of like Jesus in that regard). For example, Johnston writes:

    One of the main problems undermining American Christianity is this: people become Christians, join the church, put Christian bumper stickers on their cars but stop short of letting Jesus make a fundamental change in their foundational beliefs, their worldviews. Their lives dont reflect the values taught and lived by the Jesus they claim to follow. Another way to put it is this: until Jesus changes your worldview, He will never change your life. Real change happens only when there is a fundamental change in your foundational worldview.

    Instead of just casting stones, Johnston does a stellar job of offering us what really is some fine teaching done in very simple, easy-to-understand writing. Johnston uses some brilliant illustrations and stories to bring biblical teaching about the church to life. He both challenges your socks off, and encourages you, almost at the same time.

    Youll find each chapter loaded with equipping, with Johnston breaking down his teaching into three things about this, six things about that, or five items about something else easily delineating his points to make his message simple to comprehend, all the while revealing to the church its shortcomings and pointing to a better, more biblical way to live life as Christs church.

    Thats what makes this book worth reading, and worth being on my list of recommended resources.

    If youre a Christian and especially, if youre a church leader buy this book and absorb it.

    I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. York, PA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Jesus Called
    March 25, 2016
    York, PA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4

    Want Christians and the American Church are Missing

    By Ray Johnston

    Something is missing in the American church? Ray Johnston points out there one main thing that is missing in the American church and gives example and what should be done to restore the church in America. He is a pastor of a large church in California and shares his many years of experience in handing chances that have occurred there.

    He points out that over the decades we have lost important things that we could not and cannot afford to lose. These things are innocence, respect for authority, love, values, faith, security and hope in the future. Ray describes each of these things and how we have lost them since the 1950s. This book will open your eyes as to what has happened to the American church and that we need to keep ours eyes on Jesus to fix them.

    What does Christianity look like without Jesus around, Ray will show you in this informative book. He uses humor and gentleness to accomplish this goal of helping to put Jesus back into Christianity and church. Read with a open mind and even though some of the examples are from a large church they can be used in any size church to return Jesus to where He belongs, first in the church.

    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
  4. Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Jesus Called
    March 10, 2016
    Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Catchy title. I did notice it and decided to read it.

    This author really likes lists!! Five of this and four of that and 15 of the other. Even the back cover has a set of bullet points. The reader does begin not to notice them after a while. The endorsements included are numerous and stellar. The narrative is easy to read. The content except for the last chapter and few anecdotal pieces along the way left me cold.

    Why? The whats wrong with the church books have enumerated repeatedly all the woes and ills that anyone who attends a church or even observes one from afar can see. What is really needed if you want to write a book is to point folks to the solution. Would it sell? Probably not since itd be too simple and too difficult all at once. Itd be a rehash of the Old Testament prophets speaking to Israel. They didnt get much traction in their day either.

    OK. So what was so good about the last chapter? Thats the reason for living and, judging from the intensity of the authors writing there, its where his heart really is. So why write the other stuff? Show us what really matters to you! Passion was mentioned earlier in his book, as was safety. He opted for safety on this one.

    Read this book and see if you can find any other take away when you are done.

    I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    If you're tired of inauthentic, wimpy, plastic, ineffective, shallow, lukewarm, hollow Christianity, this book is for you!
    March 6, 2016
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When I first read the title of this book, it grabbed my attention. Even before I read one page it challenged me to ask two questions, is the church today really listening to the voice of Jesus? Am I listening to the voice of Jesus? Those were some challenging questions. As I opened the book up and began to read, I realized that the challenge was just beginning.

    The book is broken down into three sections. The opening section details Ray Johnstons trip to South Africa where he found a thriving multicultural church in the middle of racism caused by years of apartheid. How it broke down the walls and moved beyond segregation and politics is worth the read in itself.

    Ray then unpacks seven things weve lost in seven decades. This is a timely section in light of the upcoming election. It begs to ask the question, who is the best candidate to restore these? Part two of the book begins with a wallop and a great quote from Bill Maher. I never thought I would read something from him that I would agree with.

    The heart of the book is found in section three where Ray unpacks seven characteristics of Jesus ministry that have been lost in most churches and Christians today. I found myself equally challenged and encouraged to listen to the words of Jesus calling me to a new level of commitment. The real power of this book is not just the wake up call, but the real practical application of how to live it out. As Ray is known to say, if it don't work on Monday, it shouldnt be preached on Sunday.

    This is the first review Ive ever written where I felt compelled to mentioned the foreword. John Ortberg does a great job of unpacking Ray Johnston's ministry. Ray has launched and pastored one of the fastest growing churches in the country for over 20 years (without scandal which is rare these days). He's not just a theoretician but continues to practice what he preaches as he continues to lead the congregation. If you're looking for a light feel good read, this book isn't for you. But if you're tired of inauthentic, wimpy, plastic, ineffective, shallow, lukewarm, risk averse, hollow Christianity, this book is for you. Ray along with the words of Jesus will reintroduce you the Jesus who called us to "take up our cross and follow him". Two thumbs up for this well written and engaging book that will definitely impact your life in positive ways.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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