LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Pop Goes Two Book Reviews

I enjoy reading reviews of my books--pro and con. If people are wrestling with the issues I present...that is a win. Two recent reviews of Pop Goes the Church:

The book is filled with true-life stories from our church and other similarly-minded churches who have leveraged pop-culture to the benefit of the Gospel. This doesn't mean we have shiny, sparkly things to lure you in and then you can say that you go to church and belong to our little club. It means that we "meet you where you are", to use a phrase repeated throughout "Pop Goes The Church". It means that we care about your comfort. It means that we don't think you need to be cleaned up for God to love you. It means that you don't have to jump through hoops just to show up. We make things as easy and as comfortable as possible for you to learn about the love God has for you and we are there to assist you on your journey in any way possible. I cannot stress enough that you should, whoever you are or wherever you are in any sort of spiritual journey or lack thereof, read this book! (from blogger Stephanie Jean Salisbury).

And another:

The question the church must reckon with is this: is Christianity a “product” we must sell? Looking at the language many pastors and Christian leaders use today, it certainly sounds like it. In Pop Goes the Church, Tim Stevens argues that effective churches are those that identify the needs of their audience, speak their language and “scratch where they itch.” In Branding Faith, Phil Cooke says that the church needs to “start thinking in reverse,” by focusing on the audience rather than the message and realizing that “it’s not the message you send, it’s the message that’s received that counts.” ... To “scratch were they itch,” then, seems like a futile pursuit for a church trying to win converts to the Gospel. People are itching for a lot of things, and some of them might actually add up to what the gospel of Christ offers, but at the end of the day the gospel is defined outside of and with little regard to whatever it is people think Christianity is or should be. (from blogger Brett McCracken, author of new book Hipster Christianity).

Two very different reviews on the same book. Which blogger got it right?