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So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey [Kindle Edition]

Wayne Jacobsen , Dave Coleman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $8.99
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Book Description

Jake Colsen, an overworked and disillusioned pastor, happens into a stranger who bears an uncanny resemblance (in manner) to the apostle John. A number of encounters with John as well as a family crisis lead Jake to a new understanding of what his life should be like: one filled with faith bolstered by a steady, close relationship with the God of the universe. Facing his own disappointment with Christianity, Jake must forsake the habits that have made his faith rote and rediscover the love that captured his heart when he first believed.

Compelling and intensely personal, SO YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE relates a man's rebirth from performance-based Christianity to a loving friendship with Christ that affects all he does, thinks, and says. As John tells Jake, "There is nothing the Father desires for you more than that you fall squarely in the lap of his love and never move from that place for the rest of your life."

Editorial Reviews


This is an exceptional story that will make you laugh, cry and be in awe of the love that Father has for all his children! It will challenge you to rethink what church is all about! Chris, Student, East Tennessee State University

I left my church after 12 years and felt I needed to be in a church until I read your book and discovered it was not about going to church but being the church. And that is to be done everywhere I go and in everything I do. I am now fellowshipping in a small house group and feel at home. This book will definitely inspire you to be the church and not just go to church. Ronda, Mother and care-giver, Canby, Oregon

About the Author

Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman are longtime friends, former pastors, and current ministers in the name of Jesus. Formerly a contributing editor to Leadership Journal, Wayne has written numerous books on Christianity. You can find his other books, blog, and articles at, and his weekly podcast at Wayne lives in Moorpark, California, with his wife, Sara. Dave Coleman is a retired hospice chaplain who continues to teach and counsel people on how to live closely with Jesus. Dave lives in Visalia, Caifornia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 946 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0964729229
  • Publisher: Windblown Media (August 17, 2008)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
200 of 213 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss the forest for the trees October 7, 2008
By mwgrigs
I finished the book in about two days. A very good and intriguing read. Perhaps the greatest thing that I have taken away from the book is a reminder of both the complexity and simplicity of Father's love.

I have read several of the comments written about this book, and I can't help but wonder if the majority of them have still missed the central message of the book and the gospel itself: Everything is about the Father's love.

A search of scripture will quickly reveal that the Father is much more interested in our unqualified fellowship with him than making sure that our ecclesiology is correct.

I read the book and immediately wanted my wife and all others I know to read it too. My hope was that they would get the same revelation that I did. Unfortunately, Father doesn't work that way. Father understands that this thing called "Christianity" is a journey not a destination. As He leads us, He desires intently that we remain in fellowship with him. His holiness is not subverted merely because we we forsake structure and seek him as a loving father, rather his holiness is magnified the tighter we cleave to him.

Paul wrote in Galatians that is was for freedom that Christ set us free. Not so that we can be burdened again with the yoke of the law; or as this book alludes, institutional religion. To be sure, in nearly every body of believers there are those who love the Lord with abandon and who deem it a privilege to be on this journey, seeking more and more about His person. But there are also those who seek their own gain and labor to perpetuate the institutionalism of the establishment. Serving the "church" for the sake of the "church.
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209 of 224 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is perfect for people who have been alienated by the Christian church and/or by Christians, but also for people who are happy with the Christian church. It is actually a book about how to be in love with Jesus, and how that can manifest in today's church environment. I am sharing this book with everyone I know who is a Christian, and will read it again myself.

It doesn't matter what your denomination is or what your beliefs are; if you want to return to a "first love"-type relationship with Jesus, buy and read this book. You will not be able to put it down.

It is written as a novel, with a mysterious character who may be the disciple John, and a burnt-out pastor as the main character, Jake. Pastor Jake's life is suspenseful over the four years that the novel takes place, and the changes that take place in his life and in his thinking are riveting.

I read this in one day and am sharing it with my daughter, friend, and husband on our vacation. It will deliver an experience---a memory recreated in the present, if that makes sense---of the closest moments you have had with God.

If you are offended by or disillusioned with Christians, and especially if you are out of church altogether, it will help you to deal with what has happened to you. It may or may not bring you back to the institutional church, as this is totally irrelevant to the book---it's about how we've substituted church for Jesus, and in doing so, missed the best thing of all.

Highly recommended.
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75 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crucial book for the struggling Western Church July 13, 2006
A must for all tired, oppressed, work-driven, bored Christians who lead a joyless existence. Many know that a drastic change is needed in their Christianity, but few know what to do or what the real problems are. Many will be blessed and encouraged by this book, others will be furious and denounce it as heretical or rebellious. If you are happy with your church, thank God and don't read this book. Others fed up with dead religiosity will read it and rejoice. Those who have marvelled at the life and vibrancy of Christians in places like China after reading books such as "The Heavenly Man" by brother Yun will find this book helpful in their path of pursuing more of Jesus.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not What you Might Expect May 23, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is likely one of the best books I have ever read and I'll tell you why.

I've been all about the Church for most of my life. I've been a pastor, a denominational official, a Church Administrator, an Elder, a Chairman of the Board and while I'm not currently in a formal Church Ministry role, I'm finishing up a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership and writing a Master's Thesis on Leadership Styles and impact within the organization of the Church.

On some levels, I'm sick and tired of the organization of the Church. Many of the criticisms leveled at it for being impersonal, political, manipulative, disingenuous and full of petty people are unfortunately true. There are literally millions of people who comprise the walking wounded who have brushed paths with many Churches and have sworn that they are never going back to such a place because it is full of hypocrites and toxic people.

I understand that. I'm reminded of the man who said all the things above to his wife and ended up with the comment, "And I'm never going back there again." His wife responded, "But you have to go back. You're the Senior Pastor ......"

For all who have felt this way, this book is for you.

Through the masterful use of dialogue in the context of a fictional setting with a pastor who has been wounded, this book touches on all these themes and brings the reader through to the end with an alternative view of Church.

It's not about the organizational Structure. Some imagine that if we just structured the Church right the problems would be solved. I can vouch from a level of involvement that exceeds many, that sadly this is not the case.

The church will never be perfect in this age because I am not perfect.

What is needed is a new view and understanding of the Church. This book does an excellent job of illustrating where hope lies.

I recommend it highly! 5 Stars.

Bart Breen
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great fiction book that has a great deal of truth.
Published 1 day ago by larry w. bullock
5.0 out of 5 stars ... as possible for readers is a plus and I love the Christian...
Keeping the cost low as possible for readers is a plus and I love the Christian writings they are an inspiration and up lifting...
Published 4 days ago by Cynthia J. Fritts
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ FOR ALL
This definitely brings a deeper understanding of what our relationship with God should be.
Published 12 days ago by Lushful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Touched that deep calling inside of everyone of us!
Published 16 days ago by Dwight Cardoza
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good read.
Published 23 days ago by Cheryl Franks
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener!
I have attended church regularly since the age of 10. After reading this book I feel as though I spent the last 30 years focusing on the machine instead of relationship! Read more
Published 29 days ago by Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Must read for anyone who wants to know how much God Loves them.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good religious read
Published 1 month ago by James F Demars
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the book
I do belive the writer was trying to stress the importance of a genuine relationship with our loving God, but I also feel he stressed that not going to church, because of the fact... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marcus J. Boone
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is about true Christian community written in story ...
This book is about true Christian community written in story form. It is about the difference between the relational church and the institutional church. Read more
Published 2 months ago by dg
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