This morning, I finished Leonard Sweet's new book, So Beautiful.
I'm still basking in the afterglow and the best words I can use to describe it is: "So Beautiful!!"
I've read several of Sweet's other books, and must say that this is the best by far. In a witty, candid, and thought-provoking style, Sweet grabs the reader immediately and doesn't let go until the last paragraph.
The basic premise of So Beautiful is that congregations need to re-think their values and priorities. The old APC approach: Attractional, Propositional, Colonial (or ABC: Attendance, Buildings, Cash) won't cut it for churches that desire to reach this present generation.
Instead of APC/ABC, Sweet suggests that followers of Christ, as individuals and congregations, capture an MRI ethos:
He then unpacks each of these concepts in detail. It's dynomite!
"Just as DNA's three strands make life possible, three other elements work in harmony to make life not just pretty, but beautiful. And it's in the church where we find the greatest expression, and ultimate fulfillment, of these three components to a beautiful life."
I found myself exclaiming, "Yes! Yes! That's what I want! That's IT! That's SO Beautiful!"
One of the things I like best about Sweet's writing style is that he draws from a wide variety of sources, and packs each page full of pithy phrases, poetry, inspiring quotes, and engaging stories.
There's a ton of grist for the sermon mill! I must have written a dozen pages of notes in my journal -- which will certainly be processed and find their way into my blog, messages and other communications.