• M. E. Weyerbacher

Upside Down Spirituality: A Book Review | #TeaAndWord #173

"We look to him for success while he's waiting for us in the failure." - Chad Bird

Upside Down Spirituality: A Book Review

Ah. This book. Y'all. You know when I have heavy tabbage, I'm basically begging the author to be a spokesperson or something.

Well, here I am, blessed to review Chad Bird's second book--and the first was a favorite with equal potency. Both books are must haves on your shelf, and should be shared about.

They will do the church much good.

Upside-Down Spirituality is broken up into three parts, Ourselves, Our Lives, Our Churches. It has nine chapters and I read mine in three days.

I get excited when an engaging nonfiction finds its way into my petite hands. It becomes food for my soul and I have been amazed at how many times the very books I am reviewing are confirming thoughts and questions tumbling in my own mind.

God has used books in periods of isolation in my own life, to remind me of truth and get me back into community where I needed to be, and speaking of this, Chad says...

"The very first time that God said something was "not good" was when someone was alone....A private Adam who had a personal relationship with his Creator was simply not going to cut it."

This quote is taken from a section right after the one called, "The Me-ization of Christianity."

This book is a lot like a sermon we need but aren't in the mood to hear so we start thinking about what's for lunch and have to revert our brain back to the speaker, where the real food is being shared.

It's needed, and don't stop 1/4 in, or halfway. The message inside is packed from cover to cover. You won't get bored. Get it on Amazon today (if you click any links in this post I will make a small commission--so thanks).

Upside-Down Spirituality traveled with me to dance class. I never end up using all my favorite quotes in books that have such a high impact on me, or I'd be sharing it line for line and doing everyone an injustice.

Giving you a few quotes still doesn't give you enough of the jist of it, I feel like, because the three sections cover a lot, and yet they don't. What I mean is, it's not all over the place.

It's a clear and concise message, You won't get confused or overwhelmed, and Chad writing voice is wonderful, like you're talking to him (which is how the first book was too). But just to tickle your fancy, I'm working some into this review.

"We can't determine success based on attendance, offering, surveys, retention of staff, or the number of new visitors or returning worshipers. As Tim Suttle says, "Success is the kind of metric we simply don't know how to handle. It's above our pay grade."
There have been seasons in the church's history when it seemed to prosper and seasons when it seemed to decline.
Way back in Elijah's day he pouted to God that he was the sole survivor of the worshipers of Yahweh. He was wrong of course, as God pointed out."

This book in a nutshell is talking about what we tend to think of as important, reputable, or worthy, isn't so much. God sees differently. What a relief!

Another favorite quote.

"The church is a place for losers. For those whose hands have been emptied, so that--as we sing--"nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling....
The church doesn't take people back to the cross but takes the cross to where people are now."

How true this is.

I've been here. I've experienced it myself in multiple ways. No darkness can keep his love away.

And probably my favorite....

"We're not in the business of choosing the right kind of people to preach to. Success is not our motivation. Fidelity is. Being faithful to grab handfuls of Jesus and cast them into the wind to see where the Spirit might carry them--that's our task....
To put it crassly, when it comes to numbers, the church's give-a-damn ought to be broken.
If we're going to get excited about something, can it please be the gospel?"

Final thoughts.

Please buy this book and if you do, make SURE you read the Epilogue Chad put in the back. I was not expecting an Epilogue (I skipped the contents and started reading) nor would I have expected one to be so powerful with a nonfiction.

I personally (and I've said this before) think it deserved to be right up front, but nonetheless the book closed with a bang--and those are the best kinds.

I received my review copy from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest opinion.

Be sure to follow Chad on Instagram, Twitter, or read his articles on 1517.org (this is one of my favorites right here!)

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