Saturday afternoon I picked up the mail and found that I had received my next book for being a part of the Ooze Viral Bloggers…and it came on my birthday. The book is called “So Beautiful” by Leonard Sweet. I have spent some time reading it and I am in the 2nd chapter. I will be blogging about each chapter over the next several days as I read it.

In the book Sweet talks about two types of Church, the APC Church (Attractional, Propositional, and Colonial) and the MRI Church (Missional, Relational, Incarnational). The book is laid out in 5 chapters. The first is the Introduction, followed by one chapter for each part of the MRI, and the epilogue. Just like every Sweet book I have ever read So Beautiful is amazingly researched (you should see the footnotes at the back of the book..I think they go on for 45 pages.) He also loves acrostics….MRI, APC, EPIC.

There is so much in the introduction but here are a few quotes that stand out to me:

“The attractional church thinks that if they build it, and build it hip and cool, people will come.”

“The church that is missional had better know how to attract people to Christ.”

“APC Creates A- Members, P- Believers, C- Consumers. MRI creates M-Missionaries, R-Disciples, I- World Changers.”

“Jesus gave us ‘the form of a religion without religion’ or alternatively, an ‘irreligious religion’ or an ‘antireligion’ Jesus didn’t do establishment church.”

“Christianity minus Christ equals religion”

“These are the best of times to be the church. These are the worst of times to be a church”- Reggie McNeal

“We become imago Dei by participating in the Missio Dei”

“There is no spiritual life. There is only life. One life where the spiritual is not separate but the whole.”

“Missional is not a program arm of the church or a line item in the budget. It is living a life born in the very being of God.”

“You can’t program MRI into the church anymore than you can program missional or program relational or program incarnational. The words missional, relational, and incarnational are not tag phrases in the slanguage of faith but the operatic sweep of the gospel in brevity, beauty, and threeness.”

I’ll share more from the introduction and the chapters over the next few days. It’s a good book so far and one that I would recommend to anyone.