Jesus Has Left The Building. The author Paul Vieira is from the same city as I. We haven't met face to face yet, but we'll have to get together soon. Paul is now offering the book as a free pdf download at the link above. I'll share a few quotes here:
"The ancient and original version of Christianity that I believe is returning is not going to happen in the place that you would expect. There is no room for this in the clean and controlled environment of institutional church. It's going to happen out in the manger, in that dirty place, where the poor and the seekers will find Him. It's going to happen outside the building."
"I think many of us have been placed in a wilderness in order to reformat the way we think. God is helping change our perception. There's a preparation going on for what the future church is going to look like."
"We don't want to miss the baby in the manger while sitting in the hot tub over at the Holiday Inn."
"People in the world must be loved by Jesus, served by Jesus, hugged by Jesus, have coffee with Jesus; we may be the only Jesus that they see."
"As the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21)
"The church will look like Jesus."
"In a recent survey reported by Reader's Digest (November 2003), 64% of Canadians say "Yes, definitely," they strongly believe in God. Another 14% say that they "somewhat believe" in God. Almost 8 in 10 people I see everyday, driving in their cars, or walking down the street, believe that God exists. These percentages are even higher in the United States. Yet only 23% of Canadians regularly attend a weekly worship service. Among those who do not attend church, spiritual pursuit is still a high value. 45% of Canadians claim to pray every day. Let's do the math. About 25 million Canadians (80%) believe in God, but only 7 million of them "go to church.". However 14 million are praying. Assuming the people going to church are actually praying, there are at least 7 million people praying every day who don't attend religious services. To explain these trends, one Canadian told Reader's Digest, "God makes house calls."
These are just a few of the things I highlighted. I also enjoyed the personal stories of how God has been at work in Paul's life - being used both in and outside the institution.
If these quotes sparked some interest, I'd encourage you to click the link above and read more.