Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Goose Is On the Way

Mark Batterson's new book, Wild Goose Chase, will be released on Tuesday, August 19. I can't wait to read it. It should be in your favorite bookstore in just a few days.

Mark's first book, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, was an absolute hit. When I offered the book study in early 2008, the folks who took the course were really inspired by it, but the people in the community who heard about it was the surprise to me. They all wanted to know how to get a copy of the book.

Here's some book bytes from Wild Goose Chase:

I wonder if churches do to people what zoos do to animals. We try to tame them in the name of Christ. We remove the risk. We remove the danger. We remove the struggle. And what we end up with is a caged Christian.

Jesus didn't die on the cross to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. I would like to think that when I pronounce the benediction at the end of our church services, I am sending dangerous people back into their natural habitat to wreck havoc on the enemy.

I don't know what Mark will do with the above book bytes, but I have a few ideas of my own. Have you ever been to a major zoo? I guess I've always enjoyed going to the zoo. In the past year I've been to the Houston Zoo and The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. I would rather see animals in a "natural" habitat than behind the bars of a cage.

I must agree with Mark, at least on the surface of these bytes. We do try to tame people and they end up being caged Christians. They get so accustomed to their caged environment, they are not much good out in the "wild". We try to purify their environment to such a degree that they find themselves straddling both hemispheres and they lose in both worlds.

Jesus prepared the disciples for three short years. Then He sent them out into the world. The early church discipled the new believers and they lived and reached others in their natural habitat. They did not have to be perfect; they were just Christ followers, who loved the Lord and wanted to share Him with others. They wanted to see those new Christians discipled and the circle continued.

When will we return to the New Testament model in America? Is it too late? Definitely not! Why do we keep passing on the "zoo" concept, rather than the "natural habitat" environment? In my lifetime, leaders have passed on what they received from leaders that they respected and we seem to have produced "religion". We can see it in other realms, but not our own. We are blind to see the cages that we have created and perpetuated.

See why I can't wait to read Mark Batterson's new book? He has such great insight into an ecclesiastical world that wants to spray a sanitizer rather than live with less than an antiseptic environment. We want to protect people from what they might hear, rather than leading them to Christ and growing them in their new found faith,

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