I’ve been reading Matthew Paul Turner‘s blog and tweets for the past several months. I knew that I wanted to read Churched: One Kids Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess before his next book Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Spirit of comes out in February. My wife, knowing that I wanted to read it, picked it up for me at the local library. Being a homeschool family, we often have checked out the maximum allowed 75 books… therefore I’m excited that we were able to get a few books for me to read in the mix.
It took me two days to read through this one. It is a very quick read. I hope that I can influence some others to read it.
This story is all about his childhood and growing up in a fundamentalist Baptist church. I imagine when I tell people that I go to a baptist church, that this is probably the imagery that they have come to mind. Now, I didn’t have all the experiences that Matthew had, but several of the stories brought memories of my childhood. Church can sometimes seem a weird place for a kid to grow up. The truth of Jesus doesn’t change, but some churches have a way of getting caught up in the traditions and rituals of ‘church’ that they lose Jesus in the mix.
Matthew’s sarcasm that I’ve enjoyed on his blog is definitely a part of the book. It might actually come off to some as a negative or ‘anti-church,’ but I believe that if you take it as that, then you miss the point. His life experiences have shaped his view of church. The takeaway that I have from this book is that those visitors/unchurched/dechurched folks that do happen upon our doors on Sundays also have past experiences that they are dealing with. The last chapter discusses his conversation with his pastor, Pete Wilson, before he actually became a member. He met with Pete at a coffee shop and confessed,
“Pete, I’m not very good at doing church. I don’t like it all that much.”
He then opens up to Pete about how passionate he is about Jesus, and that he wants to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
I want to make sure that my daughters have a healthy view of the church. Not just the church that we are members of, but as the body of Christ. I want them to see the body of Christ working together in unity with the Holy Spirit and each other. I want them to know their pastor as a real person who also has real problems like them. I want them to see their mommy and daddy grow in faith and maturity as we struggle with life too. I want them to know a church that is concerned for them and for others. I don’t want them to experience church splits and the ‘stuff’ that often gets in the way of Worship. I want them to have a passion for Jesus. I want them to be a part of and experience solutions rather than problems.
BTW… I happen to think that the picture on the cover of the book is fantastic.
Next book on my nightstand is “Me, Myself, and Bob” by Phil Visher. I guess you can say, I’m starting 2010 with the lighter side of my reading list. Oh yeah, I’m still slowly chewing my way through “Vintage Church” y Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears.