Book Review: Bread and Wine

bread and wineSitting around the table for dinner remains one of my favorite childhood memories. Something about eating together creates an atmosphere of relaxation and comfortability with one another. It was a time for talking and just being together.

Author Shauna Niequist writes about her love for food, cooking, and fellowship in “Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes.”

She reminds us of the importance of coming together to partake, “What’s becoming clearer and clearer to me is that the most sacred moments, the ones in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place at the table. The particular alchemy of celebration and food, of connecting people and serving what I’ve made with my own hands, comes together as more than the sum of their parts.” Read more

Thoughts on “Autopsy of a Deceased Church”

I recently finished an interesting resource called “Autopsy of a Deceased Church,” where author Thom S. Rainer utilizes his many years of experience in church ministry as a pastor and consultant to write about common trends in declining churches.

Rainer divides his book into two parts: (1) The Autopsy and (2) Is There Hope for the Dying Church?

The first part begins with an introduction and then devotes the following chapters to 10 symptoms of a declining church: (1) slow erosion, (2) the past is the hero, (3) the church refused to look like the community, (4) the budget moved inwardly, (5) the great commission becomes the great omission, (6) the preference driven church, (7) pastoral tenure decreases, (8) the church rarely prayed together, (9) the church had no clear purpose, and (10) the church obsessed over facilities.

The second part focuses on what to do if your church shows symptoms of decline.

Larry Moyer, Founder and CEO of EvanTell and a regular reader of books on spiritual topics, sat down to share some of his reflections with me on Rainer’s recent book.

Who could benefit the most from reading “Autopsy of a Deceased Church?”
New pastors who want to know the pitfalls that often face the local church as well as seasoned pastors who sense something is wrong but not sure what. Read more

A Review of the “Sacrament of Evangelism”


sacrament of evangelism

The Sacrament of Evangelism by Jerry Root and Stan Guthrie presents “a way of looking at life and the world that is open to God’s presence everywhere.”[1] Their book avoids being another “how-to” book and instead focuses more on the motivating factor in evangelism—jumping on board with what God is already doing in the lives of people.

According to the authors, the word sacrament itself has the idea of “presence of God” but more specifically it often refers to the mutual effort of God’s grace and our response to divine grace. Read more