For a book that was never meant to be a book I am amazed at how the story keeps traveling. So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore started as a website and a story serialized over four and a half years by two of us who wondered what the Apostle John might think of what Jesus’ church had become in the 21st century. We made it up as we went along to help people think past the pain of the religious games many of us get caught up in and discover what it is to live as his beloved son or daughter alongside others in the world.
I never thought we’d print it, since it has been free on line since the beginning. We printed it only because friends said they would never read it on line. Hundreds of thousands did, however, and still many also bought the book. It showed up in Walmart and Costco and a thousand other stores. I get to hear testimonials all the time about how people found that book and what it helped identify in their own hearts about God’s working.
A few days ago I received this from a man today who has just finished leading a thirteen-week book discussion through So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore. Here’s what he wrote:
Well, after going through Jake at least 4 times, plus going through a 13 week study of Jake with our Bible study group, I am finally done with Jake (at least today). I can’t thank you enough for your efforts in writing this life changing book. Since first reading The Story of Jake about a year ago my relationship with Father has changed dynamically. The guilt of leaving my church of 25 years and the understanding that Father loves me, even with all my faults, has changed remarkably. It would take me 30 pages to tell you of all that has happened in the past year, but just know that Father and I are doing GREAT! I didn’t say perfect, but GREAT!
Thanks, Carl. Dave and I were blessed to hear how much this story helped you on your own journey.
I still love this story and being in it a lot over the past couple of years as it quietly marches toward becoming a feature length film titled, Out of the Game. I’ve had a lot of fun helping to re-tell this story for a different medium and see if it can continue to help people discover life and freedom in him.
3 thoughts on “The Story of Jake”
I’m really looking forward to that movie!
Wayne, we too have met a number of folk (including 3 pastors) who, upon being asked about their journey into the freedom of Christ, said that one of the means Father spoke to them was “So You Don’t Want to go to Church Anymore.” And it was the title that grabbed their attention!
Hi Phillip. Hope all is well with you in South Africa. Yeah, it was a crazy title for a book, especially a novel. It made more sense as a website, but it is that title that connected so many people who were in just the right place in their hearts that the book provided some insight for them. I’ve even had people tell me they got it reluctantly thinking we were going to give them the 12 reasons why they had to go anyway. But at least people who got the book were asking the questions in their own life that allowed them to be open to the message in the book. This has been quite a journey!
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