Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
How to Be a Christian without Going to Church: The Unofficial Guide to Alternative Forms of Christian Community Paperback – July 1, 2014
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Back Cover
God is moving. And just might be somewhere you haven't looked . . . yet.
What happens when the church no longer nurtures, feeds, or challenges you? What do you do when the thought of leaving breaks your heart--but staying hurts more?
Kelly Bean has been there. For anyone seeking genuine Christian community, she offers both heartfelt encouragement and practical suggestions for finding or creating a community of faith that honors God and offers rest, love, and communion with other believers. With true stories of those who have faced these questions and found a way forward, this book shows you how to be faithful in a place where you will truly flourish.
"Kelly's book is a significant gift, gathering into one place the real-world brilliance and experience of fellow travelers who are asking the question of church."--Wm Paul Young, author of the New York Times bestseller The Shack
"Bean speaks with both the integrity and authenticity of one who has suffered in the course of arriving at her summations and conclusions. I could wish that every Christian today would read this one."--Phyllis Tickle, author of The Age of the Spirit and The Great Emergence
"Kelly Bean is a wise, whimsical, and revolutionary iconoclast. This book will call some to leave what is really not church, and it will call others to reengage the meaning of being a redemptive church."--Dan B. Allender, PhD, professor of counseling psychology and founding president of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
"For those who struggle with church as they know it, this book can awaken imagination for all that Christian community can be. Kelly Bean writes with a wise, gentle, honest, and persuasive voice that we should pay attention to."--Mark Scandrette, author of Free, Practicing the Way of Jesus, and Soul Graffiti
"Despite her provocative title, Kelly Bean loves the church. This book will help those struggling to remain in institutional churches, and those who've left, to understand the challenge we all face today and to set some markers for the road ahead."--Michael Frost, author of Exiles and The Road to Missional
Kelly Bean served as pastor/cultivator of Third Saturday Organic Community, which gathered in her living room for twenty-four years. She is coplanter of Urban Abbey, an egalitarian intergenerational intentional community in north Portland, Oregon.
About the Author
Kelly Bean served as pastor/cultivator of Third Saturday Organic Community, which gathered in her living room for twenty-four years. She is coplanter of Urban Abbey, an egalitarian intergenerational intentional community in north Portland, Oregon. A pasto
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
It is thought provoking.
This book exists because the phenomenon of "non-Goers" exists. It's not rebels and hippies and secularism that have caused this problem. The institutional church created this by being unwilling or unable to keep up with what God is doing in the lives of people everywhere.
If you're a Non-Goer, someone who loves Jesus, who desires to order your life around Jesus, and for whatever reason you've not found a community of faith that will include you, Kelly's book is an incredibly hopeful and encouraging resource for you. You are not left alone. God is working outside the box inviting you to be a part of Christ's church, even if that looks different from what you (or other Christians) expect.
If you are a pastor or church leader--particularly if, like me, this title makes you a little anxious--Kelly's book is a challenge and a helpful window of insight. We're comfortable with our forms and programs. We know how to serve people just like us, but what lengths are we willing to go to to pursue the Great Commission? Will our systems, structures, and habits impede us from following where Jesus is leading? Or are we willing to take gentle instruction from people we've left out?
There is no question that the Christian church in America has to change. Not to be more popular, not to appease some view of culture. But in order to effectively live the Gospel in our generation. With the eye of a cultural journalist and the heart of a pastor, Kelly Bean offers us a window into a growing movement that is not waiting around for the institutional church to catch up. Jesus is doing something. Are we willing to join Him in His work to restore what has broken, and reclaim what has been lost?
(This is a brief excerpt of a longer review at: http://marcalanschelske.com/how-to-be-a-christian-without-going-to-church/)
Pros: It lives up to the sub-title: "The (I would have said "A") Unofficial Guide to Alternative Forms of Christian Community." This is the first place where I have seen examples of different forms of leadership, money management, Sunday School, youth group, seminary, suggestions and ideas for cultivating relationships and caring for people both in your own group and with those who aren't followers of Jesus, and alternative forms of worship that are actually being done. Brilliant. These examples are not theoretical but are being used and worked out right now. But you don't have to agree with what someone else is doing to learn a different way. I certainly didn't agree with some of the examples. There were at least half a dozen that I thought were way out there. Others would not work where I live. But Kelly does say several times that we will not all look the same.
Cons: I have 2 and they are why I cannot give a higher rating. First, there is a strong implication throughout the book that you will just be able to find others and start an alternative community at the drop of a hat. I would have liked to see more examples of failure even though Kelly gives examples from her own life and family which is not always easy. But I would have liked to read about more failure. It is one thing to say that we are made for relationships and community and you shouldn't "go it alone" but actually finding others who want to do this with you and have the courage to do it is something completely different. The hard truth is that this is not an easy path to walk on and it would be a lie to say or imply anything else. If you decide to leave a traditional expression of "church" for an alternative Christian community then you have to face the fact that you might be alone and even lonely at times for a while. I am speaking from personal experience and Kelly's book is not the first one I read that gave that same implication. I became a "non-goer" in 2005 and I still haven't found anyone who would want to do an alternative Christian community. I spent the first few years feeling guilty and second-guessing my decision and myself because I lost the people I thought I had relationship with. I would not want anybody to go through that.
My 2nd "Con": This comes from the 3rd chapter which talks about some of the reasons why people are leaving the "church." It is not exhaustive by any means but it is instructive. Kelly includes one by Dannika Nash, a college student who wrote "An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation" on her blog which supposedly represents an anthem for young people across the country. I wanted to read it and really, really hear what Ms. Nash was saying. I read it and thought about it for a while. Kelly Bean said it would be instructive to see some of the reasons behind why people are leaving church. That was worth the reflection. But my conclusion is not good. I really don't know what Kelly Bean expected me to find here as "instructive." I want to be kind here but Ms. Nash comes across as a whiny, 20-something Millennial who thinks she knows better. She believes because Christianity does not embrace the homosexual lifestyle that is why many in her generation are leaving the church. I live in a state that is filled with college students and people who believe what Ms. Nash does. I don't have time to write about why I think she's wrong. That is not the point of this review. But her attitude represents what many believe that we need to change the message of the Bible so that everybody feels all nice about themselves. I have to laugh when people are always talking about being "open minded and tolerant" yet what they really mean is that their open mind and tolerance is only for those who believe like they do. If you don't then you find out that they really are the most narrow minded and intolerant people on the planet. I know I am sounding like a narrow minded person when I say this and if I were to tell you how much I believe in and live by the love and grace of God then you might not believe it. I know of denominations that embraced Ms. Nash's beliefs over 100 years ago and they have becomes dead and irrelevant. I have absolutely no problem changing the methods we use, as followers of Jesus, to communicate the truth of the gospel and the Bible to a new generation. But I will never change what the Bible says so people will be comfortable with a sinful lifestyle. Before you can embrace the incredible gift of God's redemption you have to see your sinful state. Jesus did not run after people who could not live by what he told them (the rich, young ruler is one example). If Jesus could live with people who could not follow what he said even though it saddened him then his followers should also follow his example. You might have to remember that the Apostle Paul, the famous preacher of grace, also had people thrown out from "church" because of sinful lifestyles. Read his letters to the Christians at Corinth for an example. Do we need to change? Absolutely yes. But not compromise truth. Grace and truth go together. I spent time on this because Ms. Nash's beliefs represent many, but not all, of her generation, and others outside of it. It is tempting to throw out the truth in an attempt to embrace everybody and what they believe. G.K. Chesterton could not stay with the Church of England because of the very thing Ms. Nash says we should do. You might want to read Chesterton. I think his writings, which are many, speak more to our time than anyone else.
Overall, I think Kelly Bean's book should be read and allow it to elevate your thinking and expand your vision of the horizon. Dream big and go far.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book offers many reasons why people are leaving the Church in record numbers.Read more
Kelly Bean’s HOW TO BE A CHRISTIAN WITHOUT GOING TO CHURCH, is extremely...Read more