Do you feel that life isn't supposed to be this way? Do you feel like you were made for more, for that abundant life Jesus promised?
Hawkins has written this book because he believes “each of us can experience the more that God has for us right here, right now.” (9) He questioned half a million church attendees about their spiritual lives. This book contains what God revealed through that research.
He found out that many of his assumptions about what produced spiritual growth were wrong. Involvement in church activities did not predict a greater spiritual growth, did not lead to greater intimacy with God nor one becoming a more loving person. He wrote a book for church leaders about those findings.
But what about individuals? Hawkins talked with people who lived an abundant life. He found that intimacy with God was the key to that life of “more.” He gives six strategic changes in thinking and how we practice our faith that are necessary to live the life God intended. Shifts in thinking include leaving the kingdom of “me,” going from “me” to “we” (including God in you), knowing the Bible is essential to survival, knowing that we're dead, and there is only now. Changes in our faith practice include saying we're sorry to God (confession), times of stillness, building a web of relationships, being present in the moment and emptying ourselves.
I am impressed with this book. Hawkins writes, “We were created for deep intimacy and oneness with God.” (51) He says it is something we cannot even imagine. But we can move ourselves toward that reality. Hawkins' suggested changes in thinking and faith practice rang true to me. The abundant life is available but we will not approach it unless we make some changes.
I recommend this book to Christians who long for more in their spiritual life. Hawkins provides the framework but each believer must contemplate the changes in thinking and behaving. It is a continuing journey, he says. Each day, believers can have deeper intimacy with God and more abundant lives.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Greg L. Hawkins is the former executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, where he served for over twenty years. He currently serves on the leadership team at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. He and his wife live in the hill country with their children.
Multnomah, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.