8.22.2007

Jim and Casper Go To Church


What happens when two guys with polar opposite worldviews go to church together?

I'm the type of reader that writes in books while I'm reading, I consume the margins of the pages with thoughts, ideas, prayers, remember when's, etc. A friend told me a while ago he even writes in margins of novels he reads; so I started that as well. However, I read towards the beginning of this book that people sometimes aren't "in the moment" when they're taking diligent notes; I decided to put down my pen and highlighter and just READ. No notes. No ideas. Just in the moment and paying 100% attention to this book. I loved it, and this act probably contributed to the fact that I finished it in less than 2 days.

Here are my observations (don't read below if you're intending on reading the book):

1) This book was a bit biased towards Saddleback (I'm not saying this just because it's my home church); but because it was the first church they visited and Casper was obviously ready to pinpoint the negative right off the bat.
2) I think Casper was expecting to see what we Christians call a small group. Everything he pointed out that was what we experience in a small group.
3) I agree that Jesus never told us to bring fog machines to church, and that Powerpoint isn't the end-all-be-all of worship.
4) I think if Casper lived in the county's which the churches were at he would have had a different perspective. For example, Tom Holladay's sermon was about not giving up, and dealing with struggles, etc. But all Casper could see were the Hummer's and BMW's in the parking lot which immediately made him think, "What problems? Each of these people are worth at least a million each!" So, if he lived in Orange County he would have probably understood the issues we deal with: materialism, gluttony, etc.
5) I loved how the author talked about the church needing to adapt to the people; and not the other way around. That's how Jesus did ministry -- he went TO the people...
6) Casper and Jim went around the country to 12 churches, some mega, some super small (Saddleback, Willow, Imago, Lakewood, etc.) I love the perspective this gave me, that every church has the same message but takes a different route in how they communicate it.

Some key phrases I loved:
"When people like each other, the rules change."
"Desperation is the mother of invention."
"We expand our effectiveness by narrowing our focus." (Al Ried & Jack Trout)
"Jesus didn't say the most important thing was to hold church services."

Overall, I loved this book. Great insights, great perspectives, great book to read if you're in ministry. This book really showed me that although we're such a digital and technology-driven world, it really comes down to one thing: people.

Buy it here
Check out their sweet site here

2 comments:

The Blonde Assassin said...

Sounds interesting. It might end up on my Amazon wish list soon.

Rachel said...

Hi, Angie! I'm glad that you enjoyed "Jim & Casper Go to Church." I'm a volunteer with Jim's organization Off the Map and I wanted to let you know about our Live event coming up this November in Seattle. Both Jim and Matt Casper will be speaking at this event. Here is the link if you want to find out more: http://www.offthemap.com/live