Friday, July 27, 2012

Real Church in a Social Network World by Leonard Sweet

In this ebook, Sweet does an analysis of church and today's individual, looks at the changing culture and gleans lessons the church needs to learn.
The rediscovery of a relation-based spirituality, Sweet writes, is crucial to ministry in the twenty first century. The number one source of stress is life is the feeling of isolation. The number one problem in the world is people living disconnected lives. What people are searching for most desperately is connectedness. This is an opportunity for the church to reevaluate its approach to relationship.
Today's individual does not lack for Christian teaching. No other generation has had as much access to Christian teaching as this one. Our society is less enamored with Christian theology than ever before. “What's missing is the right relationship, a deepening relationship with God.”
He speaks to participating in the divine life, being “missional” by participating in the mission of Jesus. Sweet encourages us to make others the focus of our relationship with God. Jesus was an equal opportunity relationship builder.

This little ebook packs a punch. As a doctrine oriented Christian, it certainly challenged me to love that an individual, rather than making sure they have all their doctrine right. I can see his point that the church has defended correct doctrine and belief with such intensity that it has forgotten to love its neighbor.
Something Sweet does not do is give suggestions on concentrating on relation-based spirituality. Is it small groups? Is it embracing the homeless? Perhaps each church needs to find out for itself how relationships will blossom.
Sweet's message to the church is clear. “At the core of who we are as humans is an inner drive for relationships with God and with one another.”

Consistent Sweet readers will recognize some of this material as previously published in some of his books. They will also be treated to an excerpt of Sweet's forthcoming book, Viral.

For more about Sweet, go to

Publisher's product page.

WaterBrook Press.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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