STORM is written by Jim Cymbala,
Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle church for 40 years.
I found this book interesting, helpful and thought provoking,
and well worth reading.
It is for Christians and Christian Churches in today’s world.
He uses Hurricane Sandy hitting the eastern coast,
to compare with the danger hitting Christians today.
The danger has resulted in Christianity losing its influence on behavior,
and losing members in its churches.
Many churches are struggling to stay alive.
The problem as he sees it,
is our focus on music, sermon style, and lights,
instead of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and prayer.
The solution, he says, is that churches need to be praying more.
He uses the scripture (James 4:8a) “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
We can become nearer to God through prayer.
He says that we should pray for our pastors and other church leaders,
and pastors should pray for their church members.
I didn’t know that many churches don’t already do this.
(The church I attend does this, and we have weekly attendance over 2,500.)
Further, Cymbala says that the solution includes use the Holy Spirit.
Many Christians don’t know the Holy Spirit,
yet Jesus felt it was very important to give us the Holy Spirit.
He tells how Brooklyn Tabernacle was small and struggling when he started there.
They were not praying, so he made changes himself and at his church, which is thriving today.
He also gives real examples of people from his church,
whose lives have been changed.
This helps explain what he is saying,
and encourages Christians to believe they can do this, too.
I also found interesting his discussion
of the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
He has found that when new Christians read the Old Testament, they are confused,
because Jesus is very different from the God of the Old Testament.
He explains why they are different, which was very helpful to me.
One major difference is that in the Old Testament, God promotes wars.
In the New Testament, Jesus never condones fighting at all.
You might want to read this book just for his explanation of why there are these differences.
He notes that today the wealthiest people are not Christians,
and this poses a problem for churches.
He also addresses the differences between Moslems and Christians,
which is a current issue in today’s headlines.
There are a lot of rumors about Moslems,
so it is good to read what some of the real differences are.
I believe that Jim Cymbala’s solutions are solid,
and they have worked for him at Brooklyn Tabernacle church.
His descriptions and examples of the problems are very important to pay attention to.
After reading this book, you will most likely find yourself making some changes in your life,
and you might be able to help your church make some changes,
especially if it is losing members, instead of gaining new members.
One way to measure this is by the number of baptisms
you have at your church each month.
A true growing church will have several or more baptisms each month.
If your church does not, you need to read this book,
and then give it to your pastor to read.
For more information, or to buy, go to http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Hearing-Jesus-Times-Live/dp/031024126X
(I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, so I could write a review.
The opinions are my own. I have given a true summary of this book.)