One of the things I love about my blog is I get the opportunity to review books before they are released by the publisher. I like it because I get the book for free, but even more so I get to read the book without a lot of people telling my why I should read it. It allows me to engage the book solely through my own context and I value that.
When I was offered the chance to preview Mark Holmen and Brian Siewert’s new book Faith @ Home Revealed I jumped at it. I wanted to read it solely because of who wrote it and the ministry he has had. Mark has been influential in my ministry having challenged me to look beyond church programs to what happens in the homes of the people who are a part of my church. I’ve found this challenging, rewarding, and have valued the wrestling through what that looks like in my context.
The new book reflects a shift in the Faith@Home ministry approach. It is a shift to research based information to assist the local church in realizing what the needs and issues are. What I value is that the book is clear you can do the research directly on your congregation if needed and they are even willing to try and work with congregations that don’t necessarily have the resources but do have the desire.
The other thing I value about the Faith@Home approach is that you don’t really need to buy anything to do it, you just need to buy into it with your energy and reflections. Mark is not selling a brand, he’s trying to call churches to look deeper into the lives of their congregation.
The research was well done and is informative engaging families with kids, families with youth, and couples. The results of the survey are fascinating. I’m tempted to let you know some of the results but I think you’re better off reading the book for yourself. Which means, yes, I do strongly endorse this book. It is more than opinion, it is a statistical look into the homes of people who make up churches. This information is incredible and I need to say I found it convicting and hope others do too.
One final observation about the book. It would be easy to turn this book into an academic treatise to make themselves look good. Instead they keep the focus clear, articulate and brief. They make their points succinctly and with precision and their conclusions seem to be rock solid. Mark writes in the book the value for the time of the pastor reading the book and that is reflected in that the book could be read in one day in one sitting. It’s a worthwhile investment of your time and one that I hope moves many churches forward in exploring the role faith plays in the home of their congregation members.