A Conversation We Desperately Need

We are in the final stages of publishing Beyond Sundays, and have set the release date as February 8, 2018. This is my newest title, adapted from a series of blog articles about the phenomenon of the “Dones”, those who have given up on institutional Christianity not to forsake the way of Jesus, but in hopes of finding a more vital and authentic faith beyond it.

What are we to make of this trend and how will it impact Christianity in the Western world? Some view it as threatening its future, while others see hope in re-centering the faith once delivered to the saints. Unfortunately there is much animosity and simplistic judgments between these groups that only fractures the bride he loves so much. Literally for Christ’s sake, we need to find a way to converse about these things in love and in a way that recognizes all the ways God is at work in our world.

This book is an appeal for the all those who seek to follow Christ to be less focused on on where others are or aren’t on Sunday morning at 10:00 and more aware of what it is to engage a vital relationship with God, and to share his love freely with others.

The book is 176 pages long and we will print copies in paperback for $11.99 and in e-book for $5.99. However, you can get our pre-order special for only $10.00.  Please be advised that if you order other products from Lifestream in the same order, all products will ship together when this book is available. If you want them sooner, please order those other products separately.

If you’d like a review copy for an article you want to write about it, please contact me for a free review copy.

We hope to have copies on hand during the first week of February and will ship them just as soon as we get them in hand. An e-book will also be available through all major outlets around the same time. We will announce that in the blog when they are ready.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Preface

In the last few decades, sixty-five million Americans who once regularly attended a local congregation no longer do. About thirty-five million of those no longer self-identify as Christian, but over thirty-one million still do. This last group has been tagged “The Dones”: those who still seek to follow Jesus and find real community, but who have given up hope that the local congregation is still relevant to their journey.

What do we make of this phenomenon? Does it threaten the future of God’s work in our world, or does it create new opportunities for God to make himself known, even if it challenges our hopes or preconceptions?

I have spent my life in both places. I grew up in a traditional congregation and pastored in two of them for over twenty years. For the past twenty-three, however, I’ve spent more time outside with those who no longer participate in a Sunday (or Saturday) morning institution. I see the animosity between the two camps, and I yearn for the day when we can have a healing dialog consistent with the prayer of Jesus that we would all be one. Nothing, he said, would demonstrate his reality better to the world than the love his people share together.

It’s a conversation we desperately need, and not just between various factions of Christianity. I hope this book can seed that conversation between friends and families in communities throughout the world. Whether you attend a local church or whether you don’t, responding to this phenomenon will have repercussions for generations to come. We can continue to treat each other with suspicion and judgment that further fracture our Father’s family, or we can celebrate all the ways he works to bring people to himself and transform them in his love.

Additionally, I hope this book encourages those who have lost their mooring in institutional Christianity and yet still hunger for a relationship with God and real community with others. The failures of organized religion do not discount God’s reality or your opportunity to get to know him. I want to help you navigate a life of growing faith and impact in the world beyond the institutional borders that may have harmed you.

This is a propitious moment in Christian history, and all the more so as the world darkens around us. May we all respond in a way that allows the glory of the Lord to arise out of the love of his people, and by doing so, proclaim to the world that our God is real and worthy to be followed.

Share this Post!

Related post

12 Comments
  1. Paul Chastain January 11, 2018 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    We who habe been yanked out of, or left institutional christianity voluntarily have not lost our moorings, pastor Jacobsen. On the contrary, it is institutional christianity that has lost theirs.
    They have become the Laodicean Church of America.

    • Wayne Jacobsen January 11, 2018 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      You missed my point, Paul. I’ve been out of institutional Christianity more than 20 years. I meant “lost your moorings” in institutional Christianity. Not in faith or in God.

      • Paul Chastain January 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply

        I stated in my comment that it was institutional christianity that had lost it’s moorings, pastor. Your statement in your blog that spoke about mooring was somewhat miscommunicated, at least to me. Thank you for the clarification. I felt all along that it was institutional christianity that had lost it’s moorings, and that that was your point, sir. I just felt that either I didn’t understand your verbage, or you were a little confusing in how you wrote it. Most likely it was the former. Your post on the Call of the Shepherd has really brought me a lot of sorrow and despair, pastor. My whole spiritual life was set upside down.
        As always, you bring about change. Good for you.

        • Wayne Jacobsen January 15, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

          Please, Paul, call me Wayne. I don’t use pastor as a title, and it certainly is not my vocation. I’m convinced Jesus forbid the use of such titles in Matthew 23, preferring that we all think of ourselves as sons and daughters of a gracious Father. And I’ve tried to reach out to you how my post on the Shepherd led you to sorrow and despair. Feel free to contact me about that if you want to talk.

          • Paul Chastain January 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm

            You were my pastor, in Visalia. You still perform that function to hundreds, if not thousands of folks every time you do a teaching for a group or even just one or two people.
            Jesus was called Rabbi, Teacher, and
            even Prophet. You earned that title, even though it doesn’t exalt you in any way, you are gifted in that way by God. As to any previous replies to another post, I got only the reply that I am replying to now. I welcome the chance to speak with you about my pain, at your convenience.
            God bless.

          • Wayne Jacobsen January 15, 2018 at 3:02 pm

            I didn’t use “pastor” as a title then and still don’t. It was a function I have, and in many ways still serve, but never used it as an honorific. Still don’t. I prefer Wayne, because Jesus asked us not to call any man “Father”, “Teacher”, or “Rabbi”, and pastor touches on all of those. That’s why I don’t use it and would prefer that you did not. I sent you at least two emails to the email you use to post here inviting your response if you wanted to talk further. Better hurry though. I leave town the day after tomorrow and my time will be limited for the next two weeks.

  2. Sarah January 11, 2018 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Just got this notice in my inbox. I’ve been waiting for this book…got mine pre-ordered right off the bat!!!Looking forward to reading it.(even if you’re already misunderstood BEFORE it’s read…:)

  3. Traci Shyer January 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Wayne!! Congratulations and thank you for taking and making the time in putting this together! I just placed my order and can’t wait to read it! In the meantime, please be encouraged knowing that you are loved, valued and greatly appreciated by MANY! You were born to make a difference in the lives of MANY, my friend, and so you are….

  4. Ruby Neumann January 11, 2018 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    I was ready to order some books to hand out to others, but then discovered the freight charges are three times the cost of the books. I will download the book into my Ibooks and enjoy it myself. Didn’t realize it it would cost so much for freight. Wayne, If I get you a courier account number, can you courier them up collect. It would be much cheaper and then I could get more books.

    • Wayne Jacobsen January 12, 2018 at 9:58 am - Reply

      Ruby, International Shipping is first of all ridiculously expensive, but even at that our shopping cart does not configure it well. We ask people to write office@lifestream.org before they order from international destinations to get an accurate quote. If they fail to do that, we ship the order anyway and refund any shipping paid that is above the cost. That’s why e-books are so great. They cross borders without paying exorbitant shipping costs. I’m sure sorry fro the problem our international friends face in being able to order some of our things…

  5. Paul McLeod January 11, 2018 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Yes Wayne, I was DONE in ’91, took 8 years to detox and find the Real Jesus..
    In fact, He came to me so strongly when I left the IC. Long story short, we were
    involved in small home fellowships for the next few years, but they in and of
    themselves were not the answer. We started to get some traction in ’06 with
    the Church Outside the Walls, and haven’t looked back since. Stay with it bro.
    Looking forward to your book.

  6. Sue Ware Broomhall January 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to reading your book here in Australia. I will send away ASAP. Have been a regular church goer most of my life involved with youth for several years and Charismatic renewal in the Catholic church even though deemed rebellious for years. Attended many wonderful churches for fellowship but with a change in my life at a later stage of life I gave up on church, not God
    and have been finding God in my rural tree change in Queensland, Australia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.