MacDonald, Gordon. Who Stole My Church? What to do when the church you love tries to enter the 21st century. Thomas Nelson. 2007.
G.M.- has over forty years of experience as a pastor and author. He is editor-at-large for Leadership Journal.
Mac has written himself and his wife Gail into a fictional story where he deals with the challenges of how a church can transition into the twenty-first century without self-destructing. This is a clever method of presenting valid information that can be helpful in bringing about positive change for a church that is committed to being relevant and effective as a missional influence. With one exception, the author has not needed to include all the contemporary jargon that is so much of today’s literature.
Many objections to change (in a church) are founded on the reluctance to give up what is special about the past, e.g. traditional worship and preaching, predictable services, need-meeting programs, etc. In the face of inevitable change we must remember that the church is not ours but it is God’s church. How change affects us personally is not the bottom line.
It is helpful to look at the changes that have been ongoing in the history of the church, e.g. Constantine, Reformation, etc. We live in a changing world and we cannot expect that our church should be exempt from change. Many of these changes impact fundamental ideas and principles, e.g. the definition and understanding of truth. “Shelf life” (80) is a term that needs to be understood and applied to church and church programs. The volatile topic of music in the church cannot be properly addressed without cross-generational representation.
Unfortunately attrition is an unavoidable part of significant change. The damage resulting from a refusal to change is actually more severe. Genuine change in the quality of relationships requires a high level of vulnerability. Strong intergenerational relationships can happen when there is openness and willingness to change. Young and old can relate to one another’s needs.