It is hard at times to put into words what one really feels in regards to certain things, be it a book, a movie, a Broadway play, or even an orchestra. These things are definitely great things to certain people and yet sometimes when asked what they thought of it, they find themselves at a loss for words. They do not really know how to describe what they just saw. They will use words such as “great”, “magnificent” or “awesome.” Some might even go so far as to say it was “breathtaking.” All the while the person who asked the question is trying to picture in their mind what is meant. However, even if that one person were to ask yet another attendee of the same event, they would get a different answer. This all comes down to the different tastes that each individual holds.
This is what I am struggling with right now. How to give a review of this book that will do it justice. I read David Platt’s first book Radical and felt it was a great call to the church today to reevaluate their lives and to take a deeper look to see what they could do without in their lives in order to take the Gospel to the world and to represent Christ to a dying world. In this follow up book, Platt once again gives a great challenge to the church here in the United States of America. He centers the whole book on the idea of “Unleashing the people of God for the purpose of God.” (Taken from the front of the book) Is that not the whole idea behind the church in the first place? To be living completely and fully for the purpose of God? There are so many quotes in this book that would be worthy of a place in this review and ones that would leave you challenged.
One quote that really stood out to me with how I lead the youth group at Journey Church in Roanoke, VA was this one: “Discussions in the church more often revolve around what we want than what He wills.” (Italics added, p. 105) I definitely feel this is the case in many churches around this nation. We have centered our thoughts more around what we think will help reach more people than actually asking God to show us what will reach people. We spend more time discussing and debating what we should or should not change in our services and how we do church than we spend asking God to clearly show us what we should do. We spend more time trying to figure out how to help people change their lives than we spend on our faces asking God to change lives. Since when did the church become about us and our tastes rather than all about God and speaking His Word? The church is supposed to be all about God and yet we allow trivial things to distract us and keep us from the sole purpose of the church, which is to equip people to live for the glory of God and to unleash them into the world to take the Gospel to the World. Another quote I love from this book that flies right in the face of how many churches are trying to “do church” is this:
“The goal of the church is never for one person to be equipped and empowered to lead as many people as possible to Christ. The goal is always for all God’s people to be equipped and empowered to lead as many people as possible to Christ.” (p. 57)
And another one:
“Our people are going to be equipped to show new believers how to live as followers of Christ, I want people in the church to be able to fulfill the purpose for which they were created without being dependent on gifted preachers, nice buildings, and great programs to do it for them.” (p. 56)
Personally, I believe that The Church at Brook Hills, under God’s leading, is truly on their way to becoming the unstoppable church that is mentioned in Acts. They are looking into every possible way to make sure God gets the glory and that God’s Spirit has all the freedom necessary to move in the hearts and lives of everyone who enters the doors. Platt is extremely careful to not promote himself or what is going on at Brook Hills and to make sure that the reader understands that he is far from perfect. He wants readers to know that they still make mistakes and still have a long ways to go in becoming the church they feel God would be honored by. Yet at the same time, they are setting a great example.
I strongly believe that David Platt’s book Radical Together is a call to the church as a whole to get back to the Word. Step away from your own ideas and look into the Word alone for how to reach the world with the Gospel. God does not need our help in coming up with ideas of how to reach people. He gave us everything we need; it is basically up to us to take His Word and to proclaim it. When that happens, people’s lives will be changed. I believe this book is a great read for any church leader, pastor or volunteer. It points people to the Word which should be the center of how we do everything. If you have not yet read this book, I strongly recommend it.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program