In every decade we, as Americans, lost something important that we couldn’t afford to lose:
In the 1950’s, we lost innocence
In the 1960’s, we lost respect for authority
In the 1970’s, we lost love
In the 1980’s, we lost values
In the 1990’s, we lost faith
In the 2000’s, we lost security
In the 2010’s, we lost hope in the future
What can restore what we’ve lost? Only Jesus. Jesus gave us His name, His friendship, and a commission to accept responsibility for ourselves and for the world.
Jesus’ mission is clear—risk everything in order to take care of people, starting in our home, neighborhoods, cities, and those in need around the world. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.
My Review: In this book Ray Johnston provides his opinion on what is wrong with the American church today. He also goes into the ways that his church combats the negative stereotypes against Christians today. One of the things that is really important is that we need to change as times change. Churches are just buildings unless we lead people to Jesus. As Christians we are called to love others and to serve them just as Jesus did, but in this book Johnston points out that the American people and the American Church have both drifted away from this calling over the last seven decades. I am a Canadian and the same holds true. There seems to be more attention spent telling everyone what they are doing wrong and pointing fingers rather than following Jesus’ two main commandments. Our church is undergoing many changes with a new Minister, merging of a couple of churches that have closed, and some power struggles between the money people and the Spiritual leaders. Does this sound like the old times before Jesus, it does to me. This is a good book to read about what Christianity should look like today. I think everyone involved in the Christian Church would benefit from reading this book and determining what steps they need to take to give Jesus back his church.
About the Author: Ray Johnston has a rich, varied background as a speaker, writer, and founder of Thrive Communications and the Thrive Leadership Conference. He is the Senior Pastor of Bayside Church in Granite Bay, Ca. A 20-year veteran of both youth and adult ministry, he’s the founding pastor of Bayside Church, which has grown to over 12,000 in just a thirteen-year period. A veteran pastor and visionary leader, Ray believes that the church is called to outreach, spiritual growth and equipping our leaders. In addition to his tireless efforts at Bayside, Ray serves as president of Developing Effective Leaders and has authored four books, all of which contain his trademark wit and dynamic style. Ray also speaks frequently at conferences, leadership training events, family camps and national youth events. Ray has spoken to more than four million people over the last ten years and served on the board of trustees at Azusa Pacific University, his alma mater. Ray and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.