So haven't done a book review yet and this one won't quite be one either, but Dinner with a Perfect Stranger an invitation Worth Considering and A Day with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, are great books. For me they really speak to what my ministry is about right now; developing a relationship with God. And for me right now for as much as I want to be a pastor I don't care if that relationship takes place in the context of Church. It is more important for a person to develop a relationship with God then a relationship to a church. That is not to say that a Church, as it is commonly thought of can't foster that relationship, it is to say that we should not assume because one is not part of a church that they can not have a solid relationship with God.
I think that may be the downfall of current mainline religions. We have put emphasis on our membership numbers and our appearance as the Body of Christ and have not put our focus on building a relationship with God in order to become part of The Body. So often we struggle with the traditions , and rituals that lose sight of what those traditions and rituals are about. They are about having a greater connection with God.
We accept the difference and marriage styles, the different relationship parents have with their children, different styles of friends,etc. We accept that they are different but we still consider them acceptable. Why is that so often we do not feel the same way about a person's relationship with God. We do judge people if they don't meet their friends for coffee once a month as we do, but we are quick to judge them if they don't go to church on Sunday.
I am a church going person. In fact I truly enjoy going to church. I feel that is where I most often connect with deeply with God. But it is not the only place that I connect with God. If another person doesn't feel comfortable in a church setting I would never want them to see that as a barrier to their relationship with God. Because their are certainly other ways to meet God and to a foster a relationship with God.