[ download eBook ] Uncomfortable Author Brett McCracken – Multi-channel.co

Does Your Church Make You Uncomfortable It S Easy To Dream About The Perfect Church A Church That Sings Just The Right Songs Set To Just The Right Music Before The Pastor Preaches Just The Right Sermon To A Room Filled With Just The Right Mix Of People Who Happen To Agree With You On Just About EverythingChances Are Your Church Doesn T Quite Look Like That But What If Instead Of Searching For A Church That Makes Us Comfortable, We Learned To Love Our Church, Even When It S Challenging What If Some Of The Discomfort That We Often Experience Is Actually Good For Us This Book Is A Call To Embrace The Uncomfortable Aspects Of Christian Community, Whether That Means Believing Difficult Truths, Pursuing Difficult Holiness, Or Loving Difficult People All For The Sake Of The Gospel, God S Glory, And Our Joy

10 thoughts on “Uncomfortable

  1. says:

    First sentence of the introduction If you could dream up the perfect church, what would it look like First sentence of chapter one There was at least a four year gap between when I prayed to ask Jesus to be my Savior, and when I publicly confessed him as such in my church and asked to be baptized That s how much of an introvert I am.Premise plot To sum it up simply, the premise of this one is that church is not about you and what you want it is not about your comfort level It s not about any one person s wants Church is NOT a product to be consumed packaged, repackaged From the introduction, Church shouldn t be about being perfectly understood and met in our comfort zone it should be about understanding God , and meeting him where he is McCracken continues in chapter one, We grow most when we are outside of our comfort zones We are effective when we are on the edge of risk We hold beliefs dear and pursue goals passionately when they are accompanied by a cost The first part is Uncomfortable Faith It consists of seven chapters Embrace the Discomfort, The Uncomfortable Cross, Uncomfortable Holiness, Uncomfortable Truths, Uncomfortable Love, Uncomfortable Comforter, and Uncomfortable Mission The second part is Uncomfortable Church It consists of seven chapters Uncomfortable People, Uncomfortable Diversity, Uncomfortable Worship, Uncomfortable Authority, Uncomfortable Unity, Uncomfortable Commitment, and Countercultural Comfort My favorite chapters were Uncomfortable Holiness and Uncomfortable Love My thoughts I loved this book I think the book is definitely needed I think the concept of church is radically misunderstood by believers and unbelievers I think there have been several generations at least that have grown up believing that church was ALL about them what they wanted, what they liked, what felt right to them A culture had developed where it s perfectly normal to church hop your entire life and never commit to any one church for any serious length of time I think the book is thought provoking and rich in insight I know those phrases can be so overused that they become meaningless But I will give you examples to back up my claims.Consider this paragraph from the introduction Commitment even amidst discomfort, faithfulness even amidst disappointment this is what being the people of God has always been about Imagine if God were as fickle and restless as we are But he isn t God s covenant faithfulness to his people, even when the relationship is difficult and embarrassing, should be instructive to us A healthy relationship with the local church is like a healthy marriage it only works when grounded in selfless commitment and a nonconsumerist covenant.I do not want to imagine a fickle God Do you God is faithful, good, true, gracious, and merciful We are not We are fickle and restless, discontent with everything, unthankful We take God for granted And take the church for granted too The idea that church membership is like a covenant is a foreign concept Though the Bible tells us in Old Testament and New that the church is God s bride the imagery of marriage is consistent in both Testaments we are content ignoring that for the most part We are content giving God a little of ourselves when God demands the whole heart We are uncomfortable with that.The gospel McCracken clings to the gospel he advocates preaching and believing is an offensive one He calls out those who would compromise the gospel to make it palatable, less offensive, welcoming to anyone and everyone The church s health your health, my health, our health depend on the church believing, preaching, teaching, proclaiming the truth of the gospel, the truth as revealed in the Word of God, resting confidently in the authority of Scripture There is no spiritual health when the church separates itself from the God of Truth The whole heart, the whole mind, the whole soul that is what the body of Christ is called to give God.The Bible can dose out uncomfortable medicine It is our job to accept that uncomfortable ness as being for our own good, and exactly what we need in order to become who we re meant to be as God s children I ll close with this statement from the introduction What we think we want from a church is almost never what we need.

  2. says:

    I received this book for free from the publisher through Netgalley My review and opinions are my own Uncomfortable Awkward These are words that can be and often are used to describe church and Christians We want to avoid awkwardness and be where we are comfortable, so we should look for a church that makes us comfortable, right Brett McCracken says no, being uncomfortable is good for us In fact, he starts off the book with the idea that we should find the closest non heretical church that preaches the Bible and commit to that church, regardless of whether or not we fit there.As someone who has often felt like the square peg in the round hole at church for example, I m a Calvinist who attended a church in the Wesleyan Arminian tradition for many years I found this book to be extremely helpful Looking at the discomfort of not quite fitting in as an opportunity for spiritual growth gave me a new sense of how we are all called to be the body of Christ, each with different gifts and weaknesses.The only place where the book falls is the chapter called Uncomfortable Spirit I believe the point of the chapter is that the Spirit sometimes manifests himself in ways that are uncomfortable for us, which is true However, the chapter reads as a defense of charismatic Christianity I have nothing against charismatics the chapter simply didn t fit the book.I would highly recommend this book to any Christian, especially anyone who feels like they never fit in at church.

  3. says:

    This book is a much needed wake up call to Christians who have fallen into a consumerist mindset about church In effect, McCracken reminds his readers that finding a church isn t like picking out a pair of shoes it s not about finding the perfect fit or the most comfortable brand It s like a marriage a relationship that requires commitment through the discomfort McCracken spends the book outlining the various elements of church that make it both uncomfortable and necessary to each Christian He does an excellent job of picking out the aspects of church that have historically been reasons for churchgoers to leave a church He then dissects these elements for the reader in a way that challenges the reader to examine his own motives in his search for a perfect church At times, McCracken begins to get a little repetitive in the message he shares, and the ambitious number of topics he covers means that he can give only a cursory look at each element I also noticed that he was raising a lot of questions without answering them This left me wanting depth and detail However, it seems like this birds eye view of the issue is the very purpose of the book It s not meant to answer every question but, instead, to wake people up to their own unhealthy view of the church It s meant to encourage them to dig deeper into what it really means to be a part of the body of Christ And, for some readers, maybe it will take a bit of repetition to hammer this crucial message home.

  4. says:

    This book covers some important concepts McCracken addresses the consumerist mindset with which modern evangelicals often approach the Church He proposes a different mentality in which we commit to a particular local church body because we know we need it, not simply because it matches all of our personal preferences and tastes I agree with him that the consumerist mindset is a problem 13 years ministering in a very small church makes that abundantly clear but I was not entirely comfortable with the tone he takes at times He fails to recognize that many of us who grew up Christian seemingly his primary audience have drifted to the sidelines not just because of laziness or snobbishness, but because of deep wounding We were not equipped with a solid enough theological understanding to withstand the abuses and failures of those in leadership Our understanding of God s character is not big enough to see past the fray I know many people who love God, yet struggle to invest or commit to a local body because they are deeply afraid They ve been manipulated, dismissed, misunderstood, misrepresented, used, abused or in some other way hurt by the very entity that is supposed to shepherd and care for them The PTSD is real and they do not trust those in leadership over churches and often for good reason This is a complex and pervasive problem I wish Brett had acknowledged that we need to learn to distinguish between idealist consumerism and woundedness and at least pointed out that they must be handled very, very differently, even if that was not the intended audience for this book We must keep faith that one day Christ will present the Church to himself spotless and flawless because he will, despite our best efforts Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

  5. says:

    I needed this book.I pastor a small, quasi traditional church in a very hip, cutting edge, affluent community One might say that we are a bit awkward and quiet insignificant, in the grand scheme of things, but we are doing our very best to worship together, grow together, and serve together in genuine, relational community.Even as I disagreed with various minor sub points, I found every chapter both challenging and encouraging What a timely book It needed to be written.

  6. says:

    McCracken has given us an important call to the uncomfortable things of Christianity and the church The things that are actually good for is and serve to transform us While you might disagree on a few areas, I didn t, they is so much valuble insight here for our day.

  7. says:

    Uncomfortable The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community by Brett McCracken is a book dealing with the consumer culture within Christianity In particular, it focuses on the way we all want things that are comfortable This affects the way we choose our churches, whether it s based on kids programs, easy going relationships, comfortable preaching, great lattes or cool worship.Brett McCracken questions whether such an I centred should be an emphasis in the Christian life In other words, it asks to what extent does our culture influence our Christian life and that of the church This is a great question to ask The church as a whole has ignored how the culture has shaped its understanding of comfort in a pursuit of relevance and attractiveness Uncomfortable is a timely re examination Uncomfortable isn t afraid to tackle issues like church shopping This is refreshing in a culture which is interested in personal preferences and what s in it for me We need this because it is too easy to leave a church when it no longer feeds or fits us.Pastors need this book because it is tempting to shape our church around the needs and preferences of millennials and seek continued numerical growth McCracken s book shows why contemporary services, hip amenities, and Hillsong esque worship isn t enough capture a vision of the church as family and its place within society Uncomfortable is broader than I anticipated It consists of 2 parts Part 1 looks at the uncomfortable nature of the Christian faith One of the author s guiding principles is When the Christian church is comfortable and cultural, she tends to be weak When she is uncomfortable and countercultural she tends to be strong McCracken notes we are tempted to make Christianity cool instead of embracing the discomfort of the cross and foundational tenants of the faith He argues that by embracing cool, we blend in and embrace blandness.Part 2 of Uncomfortable was the stronger part of the book, and what I anticipated It dealt with the benefits of embracing discomfort within the local church community He investigates issues of relationships, worship, diversity, and matters of authority and commitment.Throughout the book Brett McCracken offers ideas on how followers of Jesus can embrace discomfort within their contexts Not everyone will agree with his conclusions, however they do opportunity for reflection and self examination McCracken also ties his ideas to his church ministry context which adds a refreshing touch of realism to his work, however at times his proposals could be fleshed out further by including examples from other situations.Conclusion Uncomfortable is a book the church needs today It seeks to frame the ecclesial conversation around theology Brett McCracken should be commended for this Too long discussion of church has revolved around business models and that which is practical Uncomfortable leads us to consider the community of God s people by directing us to the Bible.Overall, Uncomfortable is a book that will make you think It will help you consider your rationale behind the church you attend It will help you think about what is involved for Christian growth to take place And it will allow you to see a vision of a thriving church community Uncomfortable is definitely worth checking out It will make you think about what is important when it comes to church The book will also challenge your own choices what are aspects of your faith are based around comfort and consumption This review originally appeared on darryleyb.com.

  8. says:

    Helpful, challenging and relevant book seeking to unpack the biblical mandate for participation in Christian community Especially appreciated the way he addressed the specific challenges of this in our current culture At times he feels a little overly critical of the Church, especially in his lists of small critiques, but I think these are usually done as much to help connect with a wide audience as they are to criticize the church All in all I highly recommend

  9. says:

    A challenging book about choosing community the church over comfort This was difficult to read because so many of the points were aimed at people like me who have eschewed church in recent years for the variety of reasons McCracken mentions in his book However, I didn t perceive it as condemnatory, but as a call for Christians, like myself, to do the hard work of commitment It was of a challenge than a scolding.

  10. says:

    You can read my full review here McCracken, a writer and journalist in South California and author of Hipster Christianity, says we need to destroy our consumeristic approach Rather, church should be about collectively spurring one another to be fit to the likeness of Christ Ephesians 4 5 And this can happen in almost any sort of church as long as it s fixed on Jesus, anchored in the gospel, and committed to the authority of Scripture 25.Divided into two sections, McCracken gives us an explanation of the uncomfortable faith and the uncomfortable church He says, A healthy relationship with the local church is like a healthy marriage it only works when grounded in selfless commitment and a nonconsumerist covenant 26, 178.SummaryChristianity is becoming less normal, and that s a good thing Christianity, founded on belief in the supernatural resurrection of a first century Jewish carpenter, has been and always will be abnormal 35 This outward discomfort will help us realize how much those in the Church need each other because we will be all we have There is growth in discomfort We are meant to grow in holiness, but many want authenticity Yet it s in becoming Christlike that we become real Jesus was authentic Jesus was also holy Mic 6.7 8 We have weird beliefs as Christians God being born into this world through the birthing canal of a virgin Without trying to solve these difficulties, McCracken summarizes why they are uncomfortable and provides a Further Reading section at the end of the chapter.Love is risky, especially when you don t know how someone will respond But we re called to enter in to love and be patient A long suffering love requires the Holy Spirit s power, although most of us are going to be of an Ampliatus Rom 16 8 or Phlegon v 14 than an apostle Paul 123 But if Jesus is associated with his church, we can t leave the church and be a disconnected pinky toe Keeping our covenant promises to the churches we attend even if you re not enrolled in an actual membership shapes who we are Keeping a promise to another is important than being true to yourself 189 In a world of sovereign autonomy from rules, who wants to follow Christ the sovereign Lord We fit into Scripture, Scripture does not fit into our perceived reality There is mystery and paradox in the Bible, and we are to embrace it, wrestle with it, but accept it This requires unity with a sinful people Just as we grow through training and practice, we grow through discomfort Instead of growing into a better musician, we grow toward unity, holiness, lives pleasing to God We are growing as his temple, one rock on top of another, looking forward to the holy city, growing in character together.The Spoiled MilkMcCracken has a keen imaginative sense for detail, and it s quite obvious in his ideal comfortable church in the beginning of the book It is a level of detail you can see, hear, and feel But his precision cuts the other way In his chapter titled Uncomfortable People, McCracken lists some of the weird church people types he has had the hardest time with over the years 125 He doesn t list five generally odd types of people, but fifteen all too specific types of people whom he has met Some types on this list are indeed frustrating, while other examples are unnecessary.These fifteen types are too accurate, and such detail is dispensable While some 6 should think through their questions before they ask an offensive and personal question, some 2 don t know whether to hug or shake a hand because they do think through their actions, and they don t want to be offensive.The rest of the chapter, however, was great and reminds the reader that they are in a covenant community, one of many living stones making up God s temple and one of many holy priests serving one another in that temple.Recommended McCracken s book has given me a greater appreciation, care, and concern for the church in his short book It is a simple book to read, but in it s simplicity were deep truths Bonhoffer has said, Confession in the presence of a brother is the profoundest kind of humiliation Yet it was the excruciating cross that allows us to be uncomfortable which allows us to grow closer.