War Cry, the national magazine of The Salvation Army USA wrote:
Beyond Church Takes You Past Sunday Worship
Have you ever wanted something more in life? Something more than religion? More than ‘church as usual?”
In the Western world, traditional church is in decline, Salvationist author Envoy Steve Simms points out in his groundbreaking book, Beyond Church, Christians can now be divided into two groups of millions: “Dones” (those done with church) and “Nones” (those who have no church affiliation).
Perhpas it is time for more than church. The thesis for this book is found in the oft-forgotten biblical word, Ekklesia. Simms invites you to go “beyond church” and experience Ekklesia, defining it as “Heaven’s ‘City Council.'”
But Ekklesia is not just a theological concept, Simms says, it is also a practical and living reality. Modern English language Bibles quote Jesus as saying, “I will build My church.” But in earlier versions, Jesus says, “I will build My Ekklesia.”
Simms argues that for hundreds of years this biblical word-switch has affected how the body of Christ has come together for worship. So what does Ekklesia mean?
Ekklesia was the name of the city council in ancient Greek city-states. It was a democratic, interactive, participatory body of equal citizens sharing their concerns and needs with one another.
With a foreword by Major Stephen Court (USA Western Territory), the book is a plea to move past politics and hot-button issues and to awaken to the vibrant life and possibilities of godly community.
Get a copy here.
The Southern Spirit magazine of the USA Southern Territory also reviewed Beyond Church. Read their review here.
How This Review Came About . . .
While the National Religious Broadcasters Association was meeting at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, it came to me one afternoon to take a few copies of Beyond Church to the NRB convention and pass them out.
I wasn’t a registered delegate and didn’t really want to go pass out books. However, I obeyed the prompting and went. As I was walking around Gaylord Opryland I saw a man in a Salvation Army uniform. I started talking with him and found out that he was an editor at War Cry. I gave him a book and he thanked me. I said: “If you like it will you review it in Way Cry.”