Sunday, February 9, 2014

Better than infinity church cookbooks--Replant: How a Dying church can grow again

Replant: How a Dying Church Can Grow AgainReplant: How a Dying Church Can Grow Again by Darrin Patrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever wanted to read a biography of a church?  Yeah, me neither.  It is not that I was opposed to reading a biography of a church…I just had never considered it.  I honestly didn’t know that anyone had written one.  I didn’t even know that it was possible to write one and, if I did, I wouldn’t expect it to be of any interest to just about anyone outside of that particular church body.  You know, like church cookbooks. ;-)

But Replant, a new book from Acts 29 via David C Cook by Mark Devine and Darrin Patrick, is an amazing book.  It is not a how-to, not at all.  It is a narrative of the resurrection of a local church body, the re-emergence of a thriving Gospel ministry in a tough, urban context.

I do not know exactly what I was expecting when I began reading this book.  I think I was expecting more technical and pragmatic instruction.  Honestly, even though early on the authors warn that this is not a “how-to”, I expected a “how-to”.  What I was not expecting is what I got.  I was not expecting to sit down at 8:45 and be reading appendix w at 10:45(much more a testament to this books readability and engrossing nature than my own reading ability).  I was not expecting to literally laugh out loud time and again as the authors offered cutting and accurate critique of some traditions that I have personally suffered through (the labelling of the open business meeting as “The Devil’s Workshop” was equal parts insight, humor, and just plain sad).  I was not expecting to be brought to tears on multiple occasions as I rejoiced with the authors at the amazing, overwhelming, unrelenting work of God that was experience in their lives.  I was not expecting to be so encouraged, so edified, so excited about what God is still doing in the midst of this Midwestern city.

I also was not expecting such an enjoyable narrative.  Devine is a great story teller and I genuinely felt compelled to “turn” the page(or whatever you do to an ebook) and see what God was going to do next.  This is a must read for all who love the Church and are, or want to be, excited about the plans God has for this world, this country, these cities, and (although outside of the main focus of Acts 29) even little rural churches that can still be rescued from the lingering death they currently endure.

This book is a winner and you would do yourself a service by reading it and sharing it with others.  Get yourself a copy and get one for your pastor/elders/ministry leaders/deacons/ DOM/ whomever you want to be encouraged in the ongoing work of our great God and King.  

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.