Tuesday, December 11, 2007

e.s.a.u. thread one

Post comments, discussion points, and thoughts as you read through this book. From this thread our nightly discussion will be fashioned.


Levi said...

Casper made a good point that a lot of time we preachers spend a lot of time saying something that could be said with less words and quicker.

I do think both the writers where a little biased as to what they thought church should look like as Casper in the one church remembered back to when as a child he went to church and that was the one that he had the highest praise for as well as Jim who gave praise to the churches that where actively being gods hands and feet to their communities.

I guess one major thing I gained from it is that no one church is going to please everyone. find what your church does well and grow it and minister to those that connect with it.

Some practical things that I gained from the book where the "secret shopper" Idea and the sending key people to check out other churches and gain insight into things done well and can be implemented without losing your focus into your congregation.

secondjohnvs12 said...


I agree that there is some bias in this book simply because this is the opinion of just one athiest. But how often do you get the opportunity to get real, honest feedback from someone with such a different world view.

Levi said...

Yeah, I gained good insight from the book.

Like be real, focus on your strenghts, be welcoming, etc..

Those are things that I think I have heard since I got into ministry.

I enjoyed the book and have participated on their site a little also.

Would you say though that with their site and all they are contributing to the consumer mentality of so many church attenders or are they providing a service for those looking for a good fit for them?

David said...

The best part of this book is that he hires people to go to church. So often, we get the "that sermon really touched me" response from people, instead of the honest comments. You know, the ones where people feel awkward about communion and offering and worship. I've thought about paying someone to come to one of our services to see what they think.

gregul8r said...

I am only a short way into my first reading, Jim and Casper.
As a person who came to be a Christian later in life, I don't see myself as one that disliked church, just one that looked for a church that I liked.
I really didn't know what I was looking for; nice people, good vibe, I guess spiritual growth, but at the time I really didn't know that yet. Like a couple of others, I found what I was looking for at Christ church. But in my time of being a Christian, I have forgotten what it's like to be a seeker.
I have enjoyed the insight and comments so far.
335,000 Christian churches in America. Did you know that as of 2004 there were 12,804 McDonald's in the US and as of recently, 1,478 Wal-Mart discount stores, 1,471 Super centers, 538 Sam's clubs and 64 neighborhood markets? All of those establishments don't touch the number of churches in the US. It would be great to have the same successes as these establishments as in the church.

Chris said...

Ok here is my take on some of this and keep in mind that I have only just begun to read the book as i have been away on a missions trip. I continue to see this mind set they they think that they are suppose to do some type of miraculous connecting with the church or the church some type of connecting with them on a Sunday morning. I believe this is why small groups have been so popular over the past few years because people are staring to realize that you can't connect with 300, 400, or 500 people on a Sunday morning but if they can plug into a smaller group that they can get to know others and others get to know them then they are able to have real connections at Church. I believe that it is a little un-realistic to think that you are going to be able to truly connect with people walking into the church for the first time. Now with all that said they should be approached and made to feel welcome on the first visit. Just my thoughts!

secondjohnvs12 said...

There is an old church growth philosophy which states that churches must grow smaller to grow bigger. I think that too many times churches bog down becasue they believe that they must know everyone and everything about everyone. I like to say in a church you can't know everyone, but everone should know someone. The question is in this context how do you continue to grow and make people feel like they are becoming part of an intimate community.

Chris said...

Ok, I finished with Jim and Casper. Here is what I think, for what that matters. The book was ok, I think that it makes some good points about the Church should not be locked inside the building but should be reaching out to the community. I agree I would like to see Churches doing more with the people who are around them. I also agree with their point about our Church should look like the community that it's in. Both great points. I believe that they both especially Casper are expecting the Church to be perfect when there is no way possible that the Church(any one church or Church as a whole) can be perfect do to the people who make up the Church. I believe this is where grace comes in! So that's what I think. Picking up the other book on Monday are giving it a go thorough!

Hoback said...

I think it was interesting to see that int the mega churches Casper made the observation that the preacher seemed shallow. There wasnt any substance in the message, a lot of times scripture wasnt even used and if so it was picked to fit around a topic they chose. I read a quote once by Tozer, "A deeper life is only deeper becasue the average christian life is so shallow."

Hoback said...

I like Casper's question, "is this what God really wants?" I heard a guy say once, "God wanted a Kingdom and all we ever gave him is a church." This makes a lot of sense - The church should be reaching out to the community instead of sitting back and hoping the community will come to us.