It’s Finally Here!!!

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So, today is the big day. The book that you all have heard about for years and that I have been working on for even longer is finally available today! If you’re wanting a copy, you can pick it up here.

We’ve been encouraging everyone to pick up a copy today if possible, in order to help boost visibility on Amazon.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the book, my good friend Sean Hughley will be interviewing me tonight on Facebook live at 7:00 PM CST tonight. You can find my Facebook profile here.

So what is “Stick Your Neck Out”?

I’m glad you asked. The body of Christ has been going through an amazing change in the last two decades. One of those changes I see is that the church is becoming simpler, more relational with Jesus, and more relational with each other. Instead of being caught up in the every day busy-ness of running a 501(c)3, keeping an organization going, and keeping a building open, more Christians are opting to meet in small groups outside of the church building and outside of the “traditional church.” These churches are more like small, spiritual families, full of people who want to obey the commands of Jesus and be a part of a community of faith that is simple and hands on. We have traditionally called these gatherings “house churches.”

But aren’t there a lot of books on house churches?

Yes, there are. Books like Organic Church, Houses that Change the World, and Letters to the Church have done an amazing job at describing these changes taking place. “Stick Your Neck Out” does two things a little differently:

1) Stick Your Neck Out is about activating the body of Christ to do the things they’ve read about in books like these. In so many circles, I meet people who are stirred by the ideas of house churches, but they are waiting for someone to start one so that they can join. But friends, it’s time to stop putting off the things God has put in our hearts. House churches aren’t hard to start but they do require you to take a risk. Maybe no one will show up. Maybe lots of people will show up and that will bring with it its own set of difficulties. Regardless, “Stick Your Neck Out!” So, while you won’t need to have read all those other books (I’ll catch you up), this book is a call to do something with all those thoughts about house churches.

2) Stick Your Neck Out is short. Most of those books are 150-200+ pages. While this length provides tremendous depth, it doesn’t help someone feel like house churches are easy to start. My goal in writing was to keep the book short and simple so that anyone picking it up would have a hard time being intimidated by it. If house churches are as simple as we tell people, we shouldn’t need a tome in order to start one, just a few quick pointers. I’ve been in so many conversations with people who have wanted to start house churches where I wanted to leave them something to encourage them and point them in the right direction. “Stick Out Your Neck” is that.

If you’re a house church person, grab yourself a copy. You might learn a thing or two. But more realistically there will be a brother or sister that God will give you to pass it on to so it can encourage them in their journey.

If you’re not part of a house church right now, that’s okay. Maybe you will be! And definitely, if you’ve longed for a chance to be a part of a house church, but one hasn’t popped up around you, pick this book up. It will help.

Lastly, if you’ve read this far, could you help me out and share this article or the link to the book on Amazon today? It would really help.

Thanks!

Q&A with Sean Hughley About “Stick Your Neck Out”

My buddy Sean Hughley joined me on Facebook Live to discuss my new book “Stick Your Neck Out.” If you’re interested in the book or our take on house churches, this is a good jumping on point.

The Church Bell Tower: A Parable

In my neighborhood there is a church with an old-fashioned bell tower. The bell rings every hour.

Except it doesn’t ring on the hour. It normally rings about six minutes before the top of the hour. At 9:54 the bell rings ten times. At 12:54, the bell rings once. You get the idea.

I’m sure it didn’t start that way. I’m sure at some point it started with the bell ringing at 9:59 instead of 10:00. No one really noticed, because it was close and it was debatable whether my watch was right or the bell tower was right. Over time, one minute grew to two. Two minutes grew to four. Now the bell tolls six minutes before the beginning of the hour. At this point it’s kind of a worthless indicator of the time.

How do I know the clock tower is off and it’s not my watch? Well, I check the time on my phone. My phone is tied to the atomic clock. It’s tied to the source of information and is relentlessly checking to make sure it’s correct. All of us with phones know exactly what time it is because we go back to the source.

The church bell in my neighborhood is a parable for the church at large. When we get away from the standard, even a little, we risk getting off by a lot. One minute off may not look very far from the real time, but a slow drift can lead us to being off by a lot. We need to get back to our standard: the Bible. When we do, we will be like people checking our phones and noticing that the Church at large is off (maybe by a lot).

In my neighborhood, it would be good if someone who is part of that church would ask whoever cares for the bell to adjust the timer on the bell. In your church, it might be worth it for you and other believers to ask whether you are in sync with God’s word. You might find you’re off by a little. You might find your off by a lot.

Or you might find you can help someone ring their bell at the exact right time.

Photo Credit: White Concrete Church Under White Clouds During Daytime by Juan Martin Lopez