What I’m Reading Wednesday

11 Jul

Called-to-Stay-w-spine1-821x1024

I first met Caleb Breakey in the press box of a Tacoma Rainiers game in 2006. Both barely out of college we started chatting about breaking into sports journalism. A few years later our paths crossed again at high school sports events as we both covered local teams for our respective newspapers.

Since then Caleb has been busy writing books with Harvest House Publishers. His latest, “Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church” will be released in October, but I had the good fortune to get a sneak peak.

Caleb is no longer interviewing professional baseball players in the clubhouse, writing gamers and features about celebrity figures. These days he’s giving God good press and using his gifts and talent to put his faith into action. In “Called to Stay” he addresses two types of people: the frustrated and the sieged, and pours out to his readers why we must stay in the church, how to equip ourselves and what we must do in the church.

“The church isn’t meant to satisfy our longings. It’s meant for messed-up believers to more toward love, unity, and a deep hunger for Jesus.” — Called to Stay

“Called to Stay” is written in three parts: Why you shouldn’t abandon the body, If you want to serve your savior, and Age of the infiltrator; to not just speak to those who love the church, but also to “bring back stagnant believers who’ve wandered from Jesus Christ.” Caleb offers his own experiences, stories, scripture and quotes from other speakers and authors to reach audiences of all generations. He also encourages his readers to continue the dialogue on social media and offers a call to action at the end of each chapter.

“Called to Stay” is a necessary read for anyone out of church, or anyone thinking of leaving or feeling dissatisfied at a church. Well done, Caleb!

Q and A with Caleb Breakey from “Called to Stay”

Q: What prompted you to write this book?

A: Called to Stay has kind of been a living journal. God didn’t stir me to write about the church. Instead, he nudged me to stay in a church I’d grown bitter toward. It was only after the tears, stomach churns, and wounded pride that I could look over my shoulder and say: “I get it now. Thank you, Jesus. Let’s do this. Let’s write it down.”

Q: From your experience, what is the most common reason Millennials give for leaving the church? Does this reason have any validity?

A: Many leave because the way of the world just seems better. But some leave because the time they spend in church seems ineffective in a broken world that Jesus is calling us to redeem. This second reason has validity, but most people use it as an excuse while ignoring God’s commands about (1) meeting together in a way that doesn’t exclude the messy and immature; (2) structure and leadership; and (3) Christ’s great mandate to forgive our debtors and to sacrificially love one another.

Q: Can Christians follow Jesus and still leave the church? Is it possible to be a disciple of Christ and be disconnected from His Body?

A: God gives us all kinds of assignments. And while we are never commanded to stop meeting together, discipling each other, or extending sacrificial love to one another, we can be given assignments that remove us from Christian fellowship. If you are one of these believers, the most important thing is to discern whether you’re hearing from the Holy Spirit — or simply hearing what you want to hear.

Favorite moments from “Called to Stay”

“If God calls you to something that seems impossible, he’ll strengthen you to accomplish it.”

“It’s impossible to know how God is working. But it is completely possible to trust that he’s working.”

“It just so happens that the more you follow Jesus, the more likely you’ll stay in church.”

“…God placed a burning desire in me to build his church…through my church.”

 

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