Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review: Faith Shift by Kathy Escobar

Faith Shift is a book about “Finding your way forward when everything you believe is coming apart”. It is written for the countless number of people who have left congregations or are in the process of leaving for various reasons and are unsure about where to go and what to do next. It explains different stages of going through a faith shift, and encourages people that what they experience during them is often quite normal. It explains a common problem of focusing more on congregation systems, the process of making congregations operate, versus helping people outside the walls and working on ourselves spiritually while we are in the congregations. It also explains that some people go through a faith shift because they have been hurt by people and situations in their congregations. It doesn’t have an one-answer-for-all approach but gives some suggestions of what people can do to heal, and shares stories about people who are going through/have gone through a faith shift of their own.

I am glad I read this book because I currently have a lot of “Symptoms of a Faith Shift” that are listed on pages 3 and 4, so I think I am going through one myself. It is comforting to know that it is good to take small steps towards finding a new congregational life and that can be started by attending a community Bible study, being part of an online community, serving, being at a congregation without getting too involved, or other ways. As I read through the steps of a faith shift, I realized I have gone through many of those steps myself. I also understand better from reading this book what being on the sidelines in a congregation means, where I was not just taking a break but was totally out of the game at times, and why that happens to people. Reading the book has given me a lot of hope that I can/will find a congregational community that is real for where I am spiritually in my life. The questions at the end of the chapters were also helpful to me. I took the time to write out answers to most of them as I finished each chapter; they helped me to understand better where I am with my faith shift. 

I think this book will be helpful for many people who are having trouble with their congregational life. It will be helpful for some people to know there are many people out there who are going through a faith shift, and that they are not the only ones going through one.

My review = 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of material connection: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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