Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Break Book Four: Going Deep

                They say it’s not what you know, but who you know, and I’m learning that fast. Who I know at the moment consists mostly of a certain professor who often assigns his students book reviews for future publication. This book was my latest assignment.
                Sometimes I don’t get to choose my book. In those cases, I usually end up with a mediocre novel or Christian self-help book (at least I haven’t been cursed with an Amish romance yet… knock on wood). But this time, I was able to pick my own. And, I must say, I chose well.
                Gordon MacDonald’s Going Deep follows his fictional congregation (from his previous book, Who Stole My Church?) on a journey of renewal. Pastor Mac (as MacDonald is called by many of his friends) leads a small group of Christians for a year, guiding them and helping them grow, transforming them into deep people capable of great Christian leadership.
                This book is written in narrative form, but MacDonald still manages to cram its pages full of tips and insights. His methods may be revolutionary, but their foundation is very basic:  to simply follow in Christ’s footsteps. And though they’re revolutionary, they seem so obvious that I was shocked they’d never occurred to me before.
Heads-up for any non-Christian readers:  this book is, as you’ve probably guessed, intended for a Christian audience. It’s not literature; it functions as more of a guide to how to make these kinds of changes in a church.
Pros:  MacDonald has real experience in this kind of transformation, and the fictional nature of the book makes his concepts clear and easy to understand.
                Cons:  With clarity and simplicity come redundancies. And with redundancies come unnecessary length. Also, know that this book was not written primarily to entertain. Don’t expect intricate plot twists or an edge-of-your-seat conflict. Though fascinating, this is a strictly informative novel.
                Conclusion:  I absolutely recommend this. Especially if you’re in a leadership position in your church. This could really change how you look at the way churches should function.
                Next up:  The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.

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