When the Church Leaves the Building

You’ll thank me for this…

I have just received a copy of a new book titled When the Church Leaves the Building, written by a friend of mine, David Fredrickson from Sacramento, CA. Some of you have heard me talk of this congregation in Sacramento that over a number of years followed the Lord’s leading right out of their congregational model to live more relationally as God’s family together. It’s an amazing story and now he’s published a book that tells their story. He asked me to write a Foreword for the book, and it expresses what I feel about this work:

Over the course of years, following the gentle nudging of the Spirit, they set out to unravel the mysteries of the body of Christ and found it leading them to places they had never considered. At each turn they continued to risk the status quo and their own comfort and security to find a richer life in Jesus together. They discovered what most people only dare to dream. You’ll be shocked at the choices they made and inspired by the lessons they learned.

It is a compelling journal and you’ll find his words raw and honest. This is not the story of a well-constructed success strategy and how to implement it, but of a people willing to go on a journey even though they could only see one step at a time and whose destination was far from clear. The costs were considerable, the rewards far greater.

In the end, whether you agree or disagree with David’s choices and conclusions you will know that he has taken the road less traveled—not for his comfort or ego but to follow an undeniable passion deeply planted in his heart. He put it all on the line, even his own vocation, while some of his colleagues did everything they could to dissuade him.

I had the incredible joy coming alongside them in the latter stages of this journey and count many of the people you’ll read about here as close friends. This really happened. I found myself rooting for them and weeping with them as David recounts the joys and challenges of rethinking their life together as the church. It not only transformed them personally, but also taught them how to live freely as the body of Christ every day, not just on Sundays.

At a time when many are rethinking the nature of the body of Christ in the world, this book provides much-needed insight and a powerful example. If you’ve ever thought that there must be more to church life than going to a building on Sunday mornings, clear your evening. You might be going to sleep a lot later tonight than you had planned.

You can hear David on the current podcast at The God Journey where we talk about his new book, and a new DVD that some of the brothers have just released. It is the first in a four-part documentary titled Church Outside the Walls. It examines people who have found more effective ways to live as the body of Christ outside the congregational model.

You can find out more about all these things at their website: Family Room Media. Spend some time there. I think you’ll enjoy what they’re doing…