A brief review of Revolution, by George Barna

Posted: March 1, 2013 in Book Review, Catholic Church, Church Growth, Church Planting, House Church, Missions
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Barna, George. Revolution. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005. 145 pp.

Dr. Barna looked at what he calls a “hidden revolution” of Christ followers who no longer go to church on Sunday mornings, but remain devout believers and attempt to be the Church, rather than simply go to church. He compares the state of the Church (chapter 4 “How is the local church doing?”) with a biblical picture of the Church (chapter 3 “What does God expect?) From that biblical picture, he extrapolates the “seven passions” of revolutionaries.

In my opinion, these were the three most insightful ideas:

The seven passions of revolutionaries (chapter 3)

The seven trends leading to the “New Church” (chapter 5)

The Secret of Transformation in mini-movement (pp. 57-58, chapter 6)

In addition, the “affirmations of a revolutionary” (pp. 128-130) would resonate with many of us who have frustrations with the church as an institution, but love Jesus with all our heart.

  1. The seven passions of revolutionaries:
    1. Intimate worship
    2. Faith-based conversions
    3. Intentional spiritual growth
    4. Servanthood
    5. Resource investment
    6. Spiritual friendships
    7. Family faith
  2. Seven trends leading to the New Church:
    1. Changing of the guard
    2. Rise of a new view of life
    3. Dismissing the irrelevant
    4. Impact of technology
    5. Genuine relationships
    6. Participation in reality
    7. Finding true meaning
  3. Secret of Transformation in mini-movement:
    1. Generally working with people who are predisposed to focusing their faith on God.
    2. Mini-movement becomes an individual’s primary source of relationships.
    3. Intimacy experienced facilitates a sense of exhilaration over the transformation.
    4. Clear group goals

Each mini-movement has a very narrow focus.

The seven passions serve as an excellent guideline for our Polish faith communities. We are easily sidetracked by other things, and think those other things should be the checklist of success for our churches. But when we, in community with one another, can focus on these passions, we are much closer to what Christians should be focusing on.

I would like to use the seven trends as a springboard to look at Polish culture, and see how it has changed in the past 22 years. There are Revolutionaries in Poland, usually in house churches, or Catholic renewal groups (or both), and I am curious to see what trends have led to the rise of these groups.

The final point – the secret of transformation – helps me to narrow our focus as we seek to see transformation in people’s lives. We don’t need to change everyone, in every way, right now.

Revolution! at Amazon

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