So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey by Wayne JacobsenSo You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey by Wayne Jacobsen

So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey

byWayne Jacobsen, Dave Coleman

Paperback | September 2, 2008

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Jake Colsen, an overworked and disillusioned pastor, happens into a stranger who bears an uncanny resemblance (in manner) to the apostle John. A number of encounters with John as well as a family crisis lead Jake to a new understanding of what his life should be like: one filled with faith bolstered by a steady, close relationship with the God of the universe. Facing his own disappointment with Christianity, Jake must forsake the habits that have made his faith rote and rediscover the love that captured his heart when he first believed.

Compelling and intensely personal, SO YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE relates a man's rebirth from performance-based Christianity to a loving friendship with Christ that affects all he does, thinks, and says. As John tells Jake, "There is nothing the Father desires for you more than that you fall squarely in the lap of his love and never move from that place for the rest of your life."
Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman are longtime friends, former pastors, and current ministers in the name of Jesus. Formerly a contributing editor toLeadership Journal,Wayne has written numerous books on Christianity. You can find his other books, blog, and articles at, and his weekly podcast at Wayne li...
Title:So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore: An Unexpected JourneyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.38 × 5.38 × 0.5 inPublished:September 2, 2008Publisher:Windblown MediaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0964729229

ISBN - 13:9780964729223

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Placing "stuff" before God This book stinks! I wanted ideas on how to draw more people to church. I love the formality of "church" and all of the traditions. How many people sing hymns together when there is no formal building, piano or organ? This book is written to tell us there is no need for church, that community is church. Yes, God said wherever two or more are gathered in his name... there is "church," but I wonder if the author was more caught up in the stuff in life (money, worldly goods, etc.) to cause all the stress he suffered. I go to church just to center myself, reflect on how I can be a better person, what I can do to help others... and of course, for community. This book was a major letdown, definitely an unexpected journey.
Date published: 2009-08-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Important thoughts, poor writing So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore presents Wayne Jacobsen’s message of living in God’s love and seeking Him above all else to fiction readers. While co-written with Dave Coleman, most of the insights and ideas presented throughout this work of teaching fiction seem to be Jacobsen’s. Although it fails to make the grade as a well-written piece of literature, So You Don’t Want To does provide an accessible format to Jacobsen’s ministerial message for those with a strong aversion to non-fiction titles. The strong message that Jacobsen and Coleman work to convey results in an extraordinarily dialogue-heavy novel. Jake Colsen and John are the only two characters described at any length; neither of them achieves personhood but rather serve as mouthpieces for the points of the authors. Other features common to compelling writing are weak as well: scenery, engaging plot, authentic relationships etc. This is a book on a mission, and that mission does not include striving for excellent fiction writing. What So You Don’t Want To successfully accomplishes is the encapsulation of Jacobsen’s thoughts about God - as shared in his previous non-fiction titles such as He Loves Me! – with readers as applied to a specific man, and a specific topic; Jake Colsen and the organized/institutional church. As Jake matures spiritually, he turns away from looking to the church he serves as associate pastor for his spiritual food and focuses Jesus Himself instead. While this refocusing and the resulting changes in direction that Jake makes in his life are evidently intended to appear the results of a closer walk with Jesus, it often appeared otherwise to me. As the characters interacted with John, he was often portrayed as an all-knowing wise man; the one with all the answers. I was quite irritated at the somewhat mindless way in which the characters would ask John to reframe their own experiences according to his own understanding of God. They seemed to ask him how they should think, how they should feel, and I saw much more of this than I saw of them turning to Jesus Himself. Lest we toss the baby out with the bathwater, there are redeeming features that we must catch sight of in this novel. Through the application of Jacobsen’s understanding to a specific, fictional Christian we are able to see how these beliefs might work themselves out on a practical level. Jake leaves the organized church and is led to pursue a less formal, more relational, spirit-led walk with God and other believers. The sharing of this message alone – that Christian’s are the church regardless of where they fellowship – makes this title interest-worthy. I appreciated the authors’ hearts in sharing this message, that where Jesus leads is different for each of us and may appear unconventional to others. I can certainly relate, as God has yet to place my family within an organized body of believers since our conversion. He seems to prefer us to relate casually with small family groupings at this time. We’re open to and eager to act upon any future changes He presents to us whether that includes joining an established, organized congregation or continuing in this direction. While setting the stage for Jake’s departure from an organized church John points out the ways in which institutional structures tend to bind rather than free; tending towards religion over relationship. These concerns are certainly valid and have been experienced by many seeking to follow Christ. Unfortunately these points are used to build a less than subtle inference that casual fellowship is better than an organized congregation. The door is left open for believers to remain in established, formal groupings but the attitude is that this is a lesser form of fellowship. In truth, Christians are called to many positions in the body of Christ. Whether called to an institutional setting or to casual, small-scale forms of fellowship, the key is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit above all else. Despite my reservations, I would like to see So You Don’t Want To widely read by members of the body of Christ. Christians are often too hasty to declare that a brother or sister has lost their faith, is a backslider or a prodigal when they fail to establish membership in a local congregation. The body is much larger than we can see and far more diverse than many imagine. What a joy it is to release each other to walk in freedom with the author and finisher of our faith whether that walk leads us to a mega-church, house church or loosely knit community of friends.
Date published: 2008-10-22

Editorial Reviews

"To anyone who is wondering if God still moves among us as He did in the Bible, here is a story to show the truth--He does! It spoke to something so deep inside me that I couldn't relax until I reached the end. And even then I knew it was just the beginning."