Close Your Church for Good

Church Closed TodayI’m writing a book called Close Your Church for Good. The goal of the book is to help churches and pastors move themselves and their congregations in a missional direction that will help them live and operate according to the principles of the Kingdom of God.

In Close your Church for Good, I don’t want your church to shut down and cease to exist; I want to it to rise up and be all that Jesus intends.

When will the book be out? Well, my current word count is 50,000 words, and I am about 2/3 done. But I am running into problems on some of the later chapters, so… who knows how long it will take to finish…

But you don’t have to wait!

I am actually writing this book online. I make 3-4 posts per week which are based on the content of the book. While the final edition will not be exactly like these posts, the posts still provide the general idea and thought flow of the book.

In other words, whether I get the book published or not, you can still read a rough version of it right here on the Till He Comes blog.

Why am I posting the book online?

For several reasons.

First, free is the new business model. Besides, I am not an established author, and I already have a job, so why not give the content away for free?

Second, am I crazy? I have some fairly extreme ideas for how a church can become more missional, and I really desire reader feedback. So as you read the section, please comment and interact, even if you disagree. If you think I’m crazy or have completely lost my senses, tell me! If, however, you think that other people need to hear what I’m writing about, you don’t necessarily need to tell me, but please tell them!

Third, books and blogs are getting connected. If/when the book gets published, I will have a ready-made place to send the readers if they want to ask me a question, or interact with other readers.

Fourth, blogs are sometimes better than books. I can do things on a blog post that I cannot do in a paper book. Like lots of pictures, for example. To see what I mean, check out this post about church buildings. There is no way I could put those pictures in the typical book.

Finally, I am a book lover. As such, I have always wished that all books were free. I used to have a sign that hung in my study which said, “If grace is free, why are Christian books so expensive?” While I don’t believe that all authors should offer all their books for free, I still think that all authors would benefit from making more of their stuff available for free.

So where can you start reading?

I thought about listing ALL of the posts in the entire book right here. But then I realized that this would be about 200 posts. Nobody wants to look through that.

So I decided to arrange the posts like a book. Think of this post as the Table of Contents.

Below are the chapters in Close Your Church for Good. Each link goes to another page, which contains a ordered list of all the posts that were made from that chapter. If you read straight through them, you will get the basic content of the chapter.

Enjoy!


Close Your Church for Good

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. The Satanic Church
  2. Faith of the Fallen
  3. The Church Must Die
  4. Cancel your Church Service
  5. Cut All Church Programs
  6. Sell Your Church Building
  7. Resign as Pastor
  8. Down with Preaching
  9. Discard the Doctrinal Statement
  10. Let Prayer Meetings Cease
  11. Enough with Evangelism
  12. Pass on the Offering Plate
  13. Give Up Your Rites
  14. Give Up Your Rights
  15. To Hell with the Church

Epilogue: Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus


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Comments

  1. says

    I can think of a couple of additional reasons to do it online:
    1) If the book would be directed primarily at a Christian audience, you would probably have to deal with a CBA publisher if doing a paper version. There are lots of issues with trying to meet their requirements (I’d be willing to bet that “To Hell with the Church” would be verboten, for example.)
    2) Online books can be written for more of a niche market. Publishers want to know that they will sell enough copies to make it worth their while to print. You have to deal with things like “There’s no market for that type of book, There’s too many books on the market in that category, That category is passe” and so on.

    For the story I’m writing, well-known published writers in our critique group, who were getting their stuff published in paper by CBA publishers commented, among other things:
    -”The scene where Tammy throws her bikini up into the tree would never get published by a CBA publisher.”
    -”No CBA publisher would touch the background story where it’s clear the pastor and uncle are child molestors.”

    Me: “I would never submit the story to a CBA publisher.”

    Them: “Then how will you get it published?”

    Me: “I plan to self-publish online.”

    Them: “How do you do that?:”

    Me: “Wait for the technology to arrive.”

    Of course my answer received a hearty round of laughs, since no one thought this would ever happen when I said it over ten years ago. I just smiled and am still smiling.

  2. says

    Not yet. Most of the backstory is written, which will come near the end of the series (probably the last two books). The two examples above come from the backstory. About half of chapter one of book one is written. Writing the rest of the series just takes time, but goes quickly since it is biography with details fleshed out (embellished a bit to make the story flow).

    The story is not Christian as such, but the backstory is very entangled in religion and is a story no CBA publisher would touch. If books were rated on a system similar to movies, it would probably be rated PG.

    I’m looking forward to reading chapters 7 – 15 of your book, especially chapters 7, 8. 11 and 12. Since your dad and brother are pastors I’m wondering what you’ll write.

  3. Anthony Ehrhardt says

    I assumed you’ve heard of Open Source? Open Source is when people give away software for free, because they love creating and want to share with others (actually, it becomes peer reviewed)
    The entire operating system Linux is open source (completely free) initially created by one guy in Finland in 1992, and now it’s a global Operating System that runs the internet. Microsoft HATES Linux, they make believe it doesn’t exist. Apple even took a version of Linux and put their own GUI, and charge $25 (Mac OS X). I’ve been using Linux as my OS of choice since 2005, and I won’t go back (although I have a Mac too)
    I use Ubuntu. But giving away books is the Creative Commons License used by Wikipedia, which basically is the open source model. Many authors sell the hard copy but give away the ebook version. I have a bout 300+ computers books in ebook format, but I have some hard copies that I bought…if i REALLY like the ebook version, I’ll pay for the dead tree version

  4. says

    Sounds like you are extracting the precious from the worthless (Jeremiah 15:19). Good for you! Let us indeed abandon church and seek the kingdom of God (for which not just the Lord, but also the New Testament church gave her blood).

  5. says

    I am so, so happy I found this blog, or Ebook. I am a pastor walking with a congregation through a closing process and I am hungry for information and help with the process. There are so few resources for this ministry.
    I am keeping a blog because I wanted to be of help for other pastors going through this ministry as well. Here is my link: lettinggowithgraceandhope.blogspot.com
    I hope you can find mine helpful. I am going to enjoy reading through your blog/ebook and I will put a link to this on mine.

    • says

      Meagan,

      I came and read and subscribed to your blog. I am so excited about what you are doing, and will be following closely.

      I know you have some difficult days and decisions ahead of you, but I think God is going to do some amazing things through you and your congregation as you seek to close your church and follow Jesus into the world.

    • says

      Hi Meagan,
      I too follow Jeremy’s blog and am a former pastor. I wanted to read your blog as well but could not because I need an Invite. Looking forward to reading though.

  6. says

    Thanks Jeremy for the timely manner coming out with such a ‘controversial’ book title which I am looking forward to. It has been such a joy reading your posts and each and every time you never fail to impress me with your posts written with such brilliance.

    Your recent post ”Do you Really trust Jesus?’” is such one great post that has answered my many years of challenged moments why such programs, systems failed despite our good intentions to share and reach out to the non believers. Perhaps sometimes we are tying too hard and impose our good intentions rather than trusting Jesus to do his part.

    Even though I did not receive teaching from a Church setting but rather from a marketplace ministry setting where they taught us “Externally Focused Church, Organic Church, which was really a good thing (new wine skin initiatives) but when we implemented and embraced it, we found that its not quite effective and in the end the leaders abandoned the project and most of us were in the dark on what is the next good program or system to follow.

    I believe your book will be able to shed some light so as to how we are able to be effective in sharing Jesus to others. Thank you. light so as to how we are able to be effective in sharing Jesus to others. Thank you.

    • says

      Thanks, Ray Lee. I am putting this book out in pieces as I go through it to edit and prepare it for publication. One big piece will be coming out in two weeks or so! Make sure you have subscribed to the email newsletter so that you get a free digital copy of it. Also, please invite others that you know to subscribe as well so they get this book when it comes out.

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