The world in which we live is becoming more and more isolated. Homes are built in neighborhoods with gates in order to keep people out. Inside that neighborhood, homes have large privacy fences to keep people out. At home doors are closed and locked. Everywhere you go you see people with headphones in order to block out the rest of the world. In public places such as cafes and coffee houses, which are intended to places of interaction and conversation, people have their heads down in front of their phones or computers. Modern conveniences have made it possible to run errands and perform other activities without ever having to speak to another human. It is into this conversation and environment that Randy Frazee, Senior Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, TX, has introduced his new book, “The Connecting Church 2.0; Beyond Small Groups to Authentic Community”. This book is a revision and update of Frazee’s original work, “The Connecting Church”.
Frazee begins by telling the story of fictional characters Bob and Karen Johnson (although fictional, they can represent a certain demographic today). Frazee describes their structured, isolated, and unfulfilled lives. He smartly chronicles their change throughout the book as he develops hos call for biblical community. Frazee sets up his book by exploring the three main obstacles to authentic biblical community. He then lists three solutions to these obstacles by giving a total of fifteen characteristics that are absolutely necessary for us to experience community. Frazee see the three main obstacles as being Individualism, Isolation, and Consumerism. He explains the motive of each (chapters 3,6,and 9), characterizes their biblical opposite (chapters 4,7, and 10), and gives the reader avenues to rediscover the biblical concept of each (chapters 5,8, and a11).
The subtitle of this book deals with authentic community. Woven delicately yet forcefully, is the vital role the church plays in enabling and assisting people to become part of a community in which they can be cared for and care for others. Frazee’s words states this intent the best. He writes, “My purpose in this book is not to make you feel guilty for neglecting church. Nor is to add one more world to your already unmanageable and disconnected sets of relationships. Instead, I want to provide a vision for community, a promise of relationships with others in your church that will meet your need to belong. The Bible clearly teaches that God intend to accomplish his primary purposes in this world through his church. The first Christians understood that a decision to follow Christ also included a decision to make the church the hub of their world, even when it required the abandonment of existing social structures.”
“The Connecting Church 2.0” is a much needed work. It is clarion call to abandon the isolated and individualistic view of life and see the benefit and blessing of belonging to a community of people who share the same purposes in life. This is a book that church leaders need to read. The book is written in a logical and thoughtful way with a flow that makes sense. The final part of the books gives some lesson that the author learned along the way. He also gives example of community models for the church today. Frazee has not written a “how to”, but “why not” when it comes to embracing biblical community. I highly recommend.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”