Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review of Your Church is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan

 Mark Buchanan is an artist. I do not use that term lightly, because it is quite an honor to be considered an artist. The way that Buchanan uses words to imprint visions of the kingdom of God in his writing earn him that title though, and perhaps he has never written better, or more artfully than in his most recent book entitled Your Church Is Too Safe.

Mark loves the church. He has, however, like many church leaders and parishioners, discovered that the church has become too tame. Buchanan believes that the Church has become compromised to the world’s standards. He believes that it has become so distracted with doing the business that churches do that it has failed to attend to its true calling to build and live the kingdom of God here on earth. In order to address these concerns about the church’s ability to lose its way, Buchanan begins to paint pictures of what a kingdom of God based church looks like. Throughout Your Church is Too Safe Buchanan exegetes Scripture, he tells stories, he shares personal testimonies. By the end of each chapter the reader begins to get a glimpse of the kind of churches and the kinds of Christians God is calling us to be instead of just the people we are.

The second part of his goal, which is woven through the book, and expressed more explicitly in some parts of Your Church is Too Safe than others, is that we as Christians are going to have to move away from those “safe” places where we feel comfortable, and take the risks to live in a way that dares the Spirit to work in powerful ways through our lives. We will not be the kind of church God wants to use if we do what feels normal, safe, comfortable, and easy. Over and over again, we are going to have to stretch into going places where we might not feel safe, say things that are not easy, and sacrifice in ways that are uncomfortable if we are going to be used by God in mighty ways.

All in all, I found Your Church Is Too Safe convicting, inspiring, and encouraging. I have marked up several of the stories to go back to and revisit and reread. I find myself often putting the book down to ponder what was said, and just absorb what the Spirit is saying to me through it. I think that many other readers will do the same as I have. For this reason, I recommend this book to just about anyone.

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