“The Great Spiritual Migration” a brand new book by Brian McLaren.
This book is about where we are headed in our faith in God and Jesus Christ. In case you haven’t noticed, faith is changing. I have felt it inside me with questions and fears and sorrow. This book was a big “YES!” for me.
For some of us our faith is growing and moving forward, but for many of us our faith is lagging behind stuck in the past and not wanting to change. Unfortunately these two different camps are dividing us, pulling us farther apart. Jesus prayed for us to become one, but we instead are arguing and criticizing each other.
This book explains how and why faith is changing. The author tries to pull us forward with him if we dare! There is so much good in this book, it encourages me to hope that as believers as a whole, we can move forward in our faith in Jesus Christ. The author discusses why faith is changing, how it is changing, and gives ideas of how the changes could be brought into your life, and into churches for more growth. He believes that our churches need to promote justice, compassion, wisdom, reconciliation and love.
Being a disciple or follower of Jesus involves movement, growth, action, and faith. Is this happening in your church? The church I attend is definitely being pulled in two directions.
Jesus spoke of generous giving, of helping orphans, widows and the poor. He spoke of healing and forgiveness. Jesus told us to love one another. Where did we get lost? Many churches today are far from what Jesus taught the world.
You might want to say, “If it’s not broke don’t fix it”, but people are leaving churches in huge numbers. Most young people are not joining a church. Churches are dying, largely because they aren’t willing to grow and change. The author says in order to save our churches, we need to focus on love.
Jesus told us the most important commandment. “He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself.”(Luke 10:27)
Is that what your church focuses on? Many churches focus on man-made rules, instead of what Jesus taught. What Jesus told us to do was to love God and love our neighbor, all of our neighbors.
Although I didn’t agree with all the changes the author proposes, I believe he is right that we need to change or our churches will no longer exist. This has already happened throughout Europe. Churches stand empty or they are used for other purposes like apartments or community centers. When that happens, where is God? How will people learn about God without churches?
This is an important book for followers of Jesus, and our church leadership. We need to consider what Brian McLaren says in this book, consider it, and see if we can purposely choose to move our faith forward. He is not saying we should forget what God says in the Bible. What Brian is saying, is that we have forgotten some of what Jesus taught, and we need to go back to those teachings. We need to see Jesus as a role model for us to follow.
Hopefully reading this book will at least make you think. Hopefully this book will give you a better understanding of what young people think about today’s churches, and the reasons they are not joining in. Blessedly for some of us, we will recognize the faith changing in us, and realize we are not alone!
If you would like to find a church that is choosing to move forward with their faith and be more modern-thinking, then you can find a list on this website: http://convergenceus.org/churches (The author is affiliated with this website.)
One thing I know for sure, this book will challenge you. It challenged and encouraged me, and I am embracing it.