Book Review: Jesus Called, He wants his church back: What Christians and the American church are missing, by Ray Johnston
Jesus Called, He wants his church back: What Christians and the American church are missing is one of the better books on the state of the church that I have read in recent days. Pastor and author Ray Johnston accurately analyzes the current state of our culture and the American church. He prescribes a hopeful solution to the present crisis. And he does it all with humor, insight, gentleness, and grace.
At the core, the problem of both culture and the American church is that we are missing Jesus. By removing Jesus from our culture, we lost a sense of innocence (1950’s), respect for authority (1960’s), love (1970’s), values (1980’s), faith (1990’s), security (2000’s), and hope in the future (2010’s). Instead of depending on Jesus, the church turned to resources, world-class buildings, corporate-level leadership, and technology. The net result is a decrease in attendance and lack of impact.
The answer to the problem is to return to a focus on Jesus Christ. However, as the author points out, it is a Jesus that most people miss. We need to meet the Jesus that wants you fully alive (ch.7), calls you to stop playing it safe (ch.8), wants to work through you (ch.9), redefines greatness (ch.10), calls us to himself (ch.11), still believes in the church (ch.12), and who is a magnet to sinners (ch.13).
Throughout the book, the author’s passion for the church and commitment to compassion-type ministries shines brightly. While many authors today bash the church and paint a dismal future at best, Ray presents a hopeful example of the kind of impact we can have if we get our focus back on Jesus.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.