Just read an excerpt of this book, Death by Church: Rescuing Jesus from His Followers, Recapturing God’s Hope for His People, over at the Missional Church Network. I’ve put it on my reading list:
Our definitions of success are too often aimed at bigger, better, and more, and we work ourselves into exhaustion as mini-messiahs who are poor substitute for the real thing. We may get glimpses of God’s transforming or healing power, but those are the exception rather than the rule. The ‘church as vendor of religious goods and services’ mind-set is antithetical to the Bible’s insistence that the church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:19-22), the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16), and the household of God (1 Timothy 3:15). This mentality is harmful not only to the church’s members but also to other churches as they compete with one another to deliver the best experience.
All of this adds up to the increasing irrelevance and isolation of the American evangelical church. Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger comment, ‘The end result of this increasing isolation is that a spiritual culture now surrounds a secular church.’”
If you want to order it: