Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rev. Zwonitzer's Continuing Book Review of The Best is Yet to Come: Chapter 7

This is the seventh post in the series of Pastor Rodney E. Zwonitzer's book review of Pastor John Kieschnick's book The Best is Yet to Come: 7 Doors of Spiritual Growth.

Review of Chapter 7--Service: The Door of Fulfillment

Kieschnick writes: "When our hearts are full of God's grace and we see him using us to change lives, we experience genuine delight." (page 154) We are back at the beginning discussion where we expressed concern over Kieschnick's mathematical grace, that some are hot/ablaze Christians, while others are cold, and the worse, lukewarm. So here we go again. He goes on: "Two things are essential for people to serve joyfully: passion and fit."

He declares that our love for Jesus must be so hot that it dominates our every second. Then this: "We live in an age of possibilities." (page 164) This is especially important for our time since we get sidetracked with wrong priorities. Jesus can't be an addition, but the "absolute center." To find a fit for this absolute center to use us as servants, Kieschnick admits adapting many of Rick Warren's insights from his writings on "SHAPE." Not being familiar with this Warren writing, but he gives us hints with the rest of this chapter's themes: spiritual gifts, experiences, relationships, vitality and excellence. He doesn't go very deep into spiritual gifts, but he does say that he applauds use of gifts both in and outside of the church. He defines excellence as "a desire to have all our efforts reflect the goodness and greatness of God." (page 170)

He ends with good suggestions about serving: affirm God has created and equipped you to serve, reflect where, don't give up, take a break if burning out, and expect God to serve with and through you. Strange that he quotes Peter Drucker (a mentor of Rick Warren) to say: 'the function of the church is not to become more business-like. Instead, the function of the church is to help businesses become more church-like." (page 174) What strikes me as strange and false is that neither is showing any evidence of this; the church is becoming more like a business, and the business world surely is not becoming more Christian. However, in fairness he might be limiting this comment "solely" to the point he's discussing here, of the church being a great encourager. Still, the point of concern expressed is valid if one considers the whole picture.

The expressed burden is to serve Jesus, especially with His cross and grace. This is admirable. He recalls his brother's advice: "you've forgotten who is the real Messiah. You can't save the world. Only Jesus can." (page 176) This is significant and paints much of the canvas for the reader.

Serve the Lord with gladness!

Pastor Rod Zwonitzer

Click here to continue to the next part of Pastor Zwonitzer's review.

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