Earlier this month, Mark Buchanan’s latest book, Your Church Is Too Safe: Why Following Christ Turns the World Upside-Down, released (Zondervan, 2012). Mark has written a number of books, and pastors a church in western Canada. He’s a great writer with a great heart for the church.
Mark begins the introduction acknowledging his boredom with the church as it currently is and recognizing that he’s likely not alone in this boredom. He asks
What happened? When did we start making it our priority to be safe instead of dangerous, nice instead of holy, cautious instead of bold, self-absorbed instead of counting everything loss in order to be found in Christ? (9)
The book does not follow a set outline or path, but meanders through Mark’s reflections on the church as it is, and the church as it could and should be. There’s no agenda in the book, other than to encourage churches to do a better job of being the church.
I enjoyed the book, largely because Mark’s writing is engaging and thoughtful and he is incredibly passionate and hopeful about what God can do through the church. There are a number of books that come out each year with a similar goal of inspiring people to have a renewed and reenergized vision for the mission of the church. They don’t tend to be highly strategic or highly focused; they simply tell the story of how God is moving in churches around the world. I don’t think that it’s a great use of time for pastors to read every new book that comes out about the church, but I do think that they should probably read one newly released book in this category each year. Your Church is Too Safe would be a fine option for this year’s pick.