Sayers writes that we can look at the current situation as the death of Christianity or as a great opportunity. With understanding, he says, it can be an opportunity. He gives leaders information in this book to help them see the opportunity.
He covers the stages of the renewal pattern, our culture and how it offers freedom, consumerism, individualism, anxiety, and more.
My favorite part of the book was his insight into orthodoxy. It does not guarantee a vital faith nor preclude decline. Encountering God's presence is what is needed. (1133/2397) People must also come to the point of holy discontent, no longer tolerating the current state of spirituality. Those people are the seeds of revival.
Sayers' writing style is such that I felt I was reading a classroom text book or resource text, suitable for church leaders. The book is a study of the philosophy of renewal and revival. He writes about being self-differentiated, for example. (807/2397) That is something the average layperson would not have on their mind.
“We must make the decision to no longer tolerate our low level of faith, our personal dysfunction, and give ourselves over to God's burning desire to remake us in Christlikeness.” (1302/2397) Only God can do the changing but we must choose to be changed.
The next Great Awakening, he writes, “must be centered on our hearts being changed by God. It must begin by replacing the pseudo-Christianity of lifestyle enhancement with the Spirit-filled faith of biblical Christianity. It must offer the renewal of Christlikeness to those being deformed by our culture in the deepest parts of their hearts.” (397/2397)
Sayers' book would be good for church leaders. It would help them understand the philosophy of renewal and what is needed to get transformation started. It is an informative book, rather than one containing a strategy to implement.
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Mark Sayers is the senior leader of Red Church and the cofounder of Uber Ministries. He is the author of four previous books. He lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and their children.
Moody Press, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The quotes are from an uncorrected copy of the book and may have been changed in the final edition.