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Quotes from Books…The Church Has Left The Building, by Jim Hayford..1


I just finished the book, “The Church Has Left The Building, An appeal for church leaders to get back to the basics”,  by Jim Hayford

His premise is that the church has slid either intentionally or unintentionally from what Jesus intended when He said, “I will build My church”.  What we have today has very little resemblance to what He wants (and the world needs) to meet the spiritual hunger of those around us.   Hayford does this by a detailed examination of the church in the book of Acts, comparing it the typical church today.  There is much to be learned from his analysis.

Hayford is a church planter, so there is a lot of “how to’s” and “how to not’s” in the book, with detailed lists in the text and in the various appendixes.  He shares from his experience the lessons learned  from trying to live out and lead a new church in the book of Acts model.

It’s a book and a manual at the same time. He seems to aim this book at those who are going to plant a church and who want to start over, reboot the church back to its roots and usefulness.  So this book is more for church leadership (as the title implies) but can also can be a good way to take stock of where our own churches have wandered away from being a useful tool in the hand of the Master Carpenter.  If you are in church leadership or have the ear of a church leader or are in a position to influence the direction of your church, then I recommend this book.  If you are sitting in the pew and wonder, “Is this really what Jesus suffered and died for?”, then this will help put into perspective some of what Jesus is looking for when we gather to worship and serve Him.

This will be a 3 part series of posts where I share some quotes from this book:


Organized Christianity continues to market the Christian faith as some kind of a commodity rather than a way of life.

Jesus did not die for real estate, liturgies, bylaws, or worship styles.

We want to decide whether we want to dedicate our lives to developing a “rational for impotence” or are we going to “contend for the authentic” manifestation of the power of God in His church today.

A church that is tightly wrapped in a restricting institutional definition tends to become maintenance-oriented and defensively postured.

Those who see the church as a place have the concept that church is a piece of real estate where people “come”.  When church is perceived  as place, then an inordinate amount of time, energy and money is directed at the care of the edifice and its environs.  Usually, more members are involved in ministries that take place “at the church” than those involved in ministry beyond the four walls of the building.  There is a tendency to conceptualize the mission of the church as being defined by the time-space definition of the church. [church meets at this time at this place.]

[Expressions of this are:] Constantly grasping for bigger, better, more fascination ways of getting people packed in rows in a building, and then complaining when overcrowding becomes an inconvenience to our worship experience.

We need to see the church as people.



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