The Other Half of Church was disappointing. I was drawn in by the title and premise of the book, hoping to be able to serve my church more effectively. The actual premise of the book is helpful: a large portion, half or more, of people in our churches do not learn or grow from the traditional ways we “do church.” The right brain is often neglected in the ways in which we do church. Since the right brain is neglected, we cannot expect people to grow as we desire them to grow. Wilder and Hendricks contend that “if we want to grow and transform our character into the character of Jesus, we must involve activities that stimulate and develop the right side of the brain.” They suggest that the four essentials for growth are joy, love, identity, and community. Neglect of any one of those four essential elements will hinder growth into Christlikeness.
All of that sounds great, and the first two chapter were incredibly informative and helpful. The problem is the absolute lack of practicality. The chapter about hesed love is the without question the most practical chapter of the book, listing many practical ways church communities can begin to grow love for one another and create an environment of love in one’s church. However, the other chapters lack practicality. In the instances when the authors try to offer practical application, the applications are generic: greet each other, look at each other in the face and light up, make eye contact, etc.
Unfortunately, The Other Half of Church was a book with great potential and a great beginning but one which lacked the practical application and step-by-step guide to help church leaders implement the authors’ ideas. The book becomes merely informative and leaves the reader with questions regarding how to implement the ideas from the book and wondering whether or not they are implementing those ideas correctly.
I was provided with a free copy of this book by Moody Publisher’s as part of their blog review program.