Sometimes, I wonder if Christians will ever penetrate the culture that I’m a part of. Meanwhile, my friends all around lament the loss of our Christian culture as materialism and decadence run rampant throughout American society. Then, I read a book like Spent Matches: Igniting the Signal Fire for the Spiritually Dissatisfied (Refraction) and realize that Christianity has never done as good a job of touching the lives of people around me the way that I had always believed.
Roy Moran begins the book with some frightening statistics about how many people are not attached to Jesus or the gospel throughout history. Then, he ponders if what we’re doing is working. Just as important, is what we’re doing the Biblical command that Jesus gives as the great commission?
Upon examination, Moran finds that the way the modern church is attempting to complete the great commission is neither biblical nor successful, and he proposes some ideas about how the church should adapt going further and about how we can begin sharing lives and sharing journeys through the Bible, allowing God’s word to speak directly to people rather than setting up intermediaries in discipleship.
I found Moran’s book intriguing, and I found so many of the concepts to be valuable.and informative. I especially took much time to ponder how often I’ve been encouraged to share my faith with people and not my life. In the evangelism class that I’ve taken at my church, I was taught my ninety second testimony and how to strike up conversations with strangers and give that testimony. While that might serve me well in some situations, I have found that, in others, just knowing I’m a Christian and that I’m trying to “sell” them Jesus puts me on negative footing with someone I could have developed a relationship with. I’m just a girl who wants to share with others how much joy that Jesus has brought into my life without having to worry about all the baggage attached to the word “Christian.”
I’ll be keeping this book on my permanent bookshelf because in this book, Moran also shares some guidelines for his facilitator groups and seven journeys through different (and important) themes in the Christian faith he has found are great for discussion groups and house “churches” as they attempt to facilitate the experience of seeing God work in their lives and speak to them. I think it would be a great way to eventually facilitate Bible study with interested neighbors or friends that I make through our interactions with the community.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary coy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.