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Letters to the Church

Narrated by: Ramon de Ocampo
Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Millions are satisfied to sit through hour-long, weekly religious services. Millions more have left the church, brokenhearted and cynical. But God is waking up his people - people who will risk everything and sacrifice anything to become the dynamic, powerful church seen in Scripture.  

We Are Church calls Christ-followers, young and old, to hold fast to their biblical roots while seeking radical change. Scripture promises an exuberant and unstoppable church. That wondrous early church of acts can be our reality today - but not until we devote ourselves to her original priorities.  

Listen to this book and be challenged, guided, and encouraged to passionately pursue God’s magnificent and beautiful vision for his church. Come and claim your part in this body of believers that is not just possible - it’s promised.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Francis Chan (P)2018 Oasis Audio

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Very Challenging and engaging.

Is a fresh look at Church growth and exploring what a healthy Church gathering might/could look like. I had a couple of moments where I disagree but am challenged to search the scripture and pray about it.
Even so this man of God has eclipsed many other similar books in my opinion. I love the Church, I run a Church in Australia, so for what it's worth "you must have a look at this" :)

Blessings Dan

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  • Skylar Ely
  • MAGNOLIA, TEXAS, United States
  • 30-01-2019

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Convicting and empowering. All who read will be blessed. There is no time like the present to change for a better tomorrow.

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Challenging

It was good a good read in that most of the western church is not living a Christian life they are called to. We are really called to live as they did in the first century. Laid down lovers of Jesus.

However Chan’s solution is smaller house churches which doesn’t sound too different to small group structures that most big churches already promote..

Really we as believers must be living repentant and earnestly seeking the gifts of the spirit. Jesus said those who believe will raise the dead, heal the sick and cast out demons. If that is a sign of a believer, most believers should be questioning what their fair looks like. We should be loving relentlessly and moving to do these things with the Holy Spirit which we have been gifted

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  • KRA
  • 23-11-2018

great book

lots of well considered and thought provoking ideas about spiritual maturity and responsibility from many years of experience.

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  • Debbie Miller
  • 07-09-2018

Just What I Needed

This book will give you plenty to wrestle with. it has caused me to return to some of my roots. At the same time I will have a lot of pruning to do in my own life and ministry. Chan presents his thesis with conviction and directness. He challenges the reader to process this book with humility and commitment to the Word of God.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Raeshan Peterson
  • 16-09-2018

Stings

I did not read this book. I STUDIED it while verifying it alongside the Bible. It felt like placing medicine on an open wound. It stung for a moment, but immediately the healing begins. Thank you for your insight!

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Cindy Nipper
  • 29-10-2018

Please read or listen!

A very powerful book filled with encouragement for those who follow God’s commands and reprimands for those off track. This books gives a clarification on what the church is supposed to look like especially compared to the current Western churches in America! Francis offers new insight that is biblically sound yet we’ve gotten lost in our manmade rules instead of following God’s examples and regulations. He reminds us to be humble and love the difficult. Focus on small God honoring churches instead of mega churches. He opens God’s Word and sharpens our tools to lead and disciple as we ourselves grow intimately closer to God and our brethren. I highly encourage all parts of the body to read this book (or listen to the audio version as I did), act upon it and share these encouragements and reprimands humbly within the church body! Get back to the basics and envision the church that God wants and honors! Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem!
The narrator did a wonderful job and he’s got a pleasing voice, but I would have enjoyed hearing Francis directly. Maybe that’s why he didn’t, so I could focus more on the words, than the familiar yet famous Francis Chan speaking directly to me! May God Bless all the readers, listeners, and doers! All glory to God!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • 04-09-2018

A MUST READ. GAME CHANGER.

I have been following Francis Chan for a while, but this book is a real game changer. For many years, like so many followers of Christ, I have looked at the state and condition of the organized church and just thought that we have been designed for so much more while doing and spending so much less. This book took some guts to write, and though I am confident that those who have much to gain from the current system church has become will 1) Not read it, 2) Read it but personally reject it or 3) Try to publicly attack Francis as if he is NOT speaking straight from Scripture...which he is. This book is very much necessary (has been for decades) and those who read it with open hearts to the Spirit of God will realize that Francis Chan nearly 100% nails it. Not because he set out to create the newest and coolest church model to attract. Not at all - he sought God and God revealed what seems to be so obvious...that the church needs to be purified and must go back to the blue print that God gave us. There are a few things that I would have added and a few things I'm not sure I'm 100% in agreement with, but this is the closest thing in a long time that I have read that I feel reflects the heart of God for his church. No more Zoos. Release the animals.

Great book that every follower of Jesus Christ should read. Thank you for listening to God, Francis, and having the guts to write this.

37 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria
  • 01-10-2018

I really, really wanted to love this! But...

...I just didn’t, to my disappointment. I had hoped this book would provide a fiery, enlightening inspiration to connect closer with God, and learn more about His plan for me. I devoured Crazy Love when it came out, and I think Francis Chan is without a doubt one of the most influential, heartfelt, and truly faithful Christ ambassadors of our time. I’m in awe of his humility, and assumed he purposely chose not to narrate this in an effort to be less “celebrity,“ but unfortunately his passion and charisma didn’t at all come through with this narrator. (Is the narrator even a Christian?) I so very much appreciate Chan's passion for faith-based living, and his willingness to obey God. I listened to this book all the way through after downloading, and felt... well, honestly... not even worthy of reading it. In this book, Chan carefully explained the problems he saw with the church by comparing them to how the Scriptures described a “healthy” church the way God intended it. He went in-depth on several topics, from serving others to revering God's holiness. All good stuff, but unfortunately it just didn’t move my heart in the way I hoped it would.

For starters, I recently read an estimate that there are roughly 385,000 churches in America. That means there’s a church for approximately every 1,000 people. That's a lot of weekend church services praising, worshipping, and studying scripture messages! A pretty phenomenal ratio, I think. Maybe I’m totally wrong. But either way, if our American church model was truly so “broken” and off-path, would God really have allowed so many of them to flourish and sustain themselves all this time, saving so many and changing SO many lives, only for us all to suddenly learn that we’ve been doing it wrong all along and He's displeased with us? Ouch. Not only does that sting a little, but it’s totally confusing. Do we really love, worship, and trust a God who would fill and bless this land with believers, but trick us for the past 300 years into doing it totally wrong? I don’t understand that. I mean, yes... nearly every church has its flaws. But isn’t that expected of something run by flawed, messy humans?. I am not speaking for the Lord by any means, but as a believer, I’d give many of these churches an “A.” I’ve seen the incredible things small group or addiction groups have done to change lives. Seen the amazing results of overseas missions. Praised with the worship band in a way that brought me to tears. And listened, enraptured as something our pastor explained became illuminated for me as if God Himself shined a spotlight directly at me. Most times I've left a church service so filled with the spirit that it affected me profoundly throughout the week. Those times might give me the courage to share my testimony with a co-worker, or perhaps give a huge tip to a weary waitress and write a little note saying, “Jesus wanted you to have this.”

My husband and I have had an extemely challenging few years, and we live in a very remote area and work full-time to make ends meet. Most days, I can barely even get myself showered and into bed at night. Some days it’s literally a miracle. Chan's concept of major, life-altering service and deep involvement/interaction/participation within the church is just not something I can even fathom, let alone refine to the standards outlined in this book. By those, I am a complete and utter failure. I felt longing and envy regarding his story about fervent, passionate Asians who begged in prayer to be used as martyrs. I would love to do and feel the same! But what are we supposed to do here in America? It’s not feasible that we all quit our jobs and pack up to move to impoverished countries. But nor can I drum up much fervor and martyrdom by sitting in on a teleconference with my office co-workers for an 8-hour training session involving Power Points, then needing to cook a meatloaf dinner afterwards. I also felt envy at the amazing, soul-blasting 14-hour Bible study session Chan had with his fellow home-church attendees. How does one even begin to carve out that kind of time?? Might God be preparing a special path for us down the road, or using us in ways we don’t see yet? Maybe. We pray constantly for that. But maybe He's already using us on ways that our small minds can’t understand fully, because it pertains to that big, awesome, incomprehensible thing called “eternity.” As a tired, overworked introvert who lives in a teeny-tiny rural town of about 4,000 people, I can honestly say that I don’t feel that this outline of Chan's redefined church is what God intends for my family. At least not in this season of our life. Maybe in the future we'll feel led to move or dive head-first into a totally new life with a different purpose and ministry, but what do we do in the mean time? What if that move never comes? What if we stay put? Are there not other ways to worship and serve God's kingdom?

Every line spoken was so full of radical interaction, involvement, and service that somehow doesn’t fit the puzzle of our lives God created for my husband and me. So with that, how can I best serve God and others with what I have and what I'm capable of right now? Sadly, I didn’t get the inspiration I was looking for here. I probably should go back and re-read A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It’s been several years.

My point is this: if you’re a leader or elder in a church, or you are a churchgoer who feels the Spirit compelling you to do something that creates impactful change while serving more, this book is absolutely for you. You will love it. However, if you’re an everyday regular suburban or Midwest American that can only manage the energy and time to find small, incremental ways to serve God throughout your day, then don’t listen to this. I don’t even come close to being at the spiritual “level” Francis Chan is at. “To whom much is given, much will be expected.” Chan and his family, and his fellow church leaders in California have much, and this book is an excellent guide for those like them. But my husband and I have been given little by comparison, and we have to find a way to know that we’re serving God in the right way for our lives. I couldn’t even wrap my head around some of the stuff Chan was expecting of his church. It’s for people whom God has given ten talents. For the rest of us who have been given only one or two talents, look elsewhere on how to best use them. For now, we're just going to ensure that all of our work, and our menial tasks, and our human encounters we conduct daily are as if we're doing them all directly for God. Even that blasted laundry I can never seem to keep up with.

28 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathanael J. Officer
  • 17-06-2019

A well timed reflection and application of what the Church is and what it should be.

Francis Chan details a well thought out reflection on the Church of today. He puts into words what critics and lovers of the Church seem to agree on; is this what the Church is supposed to be? When looking to Jesus, to the letters of the New Covenant and the Gospels do we see the Church of today reflected there in those pages? If not, why not, and how do we realign to be what Jesus had intended?

Chan brings us along from our questions to a posture of seeking answers, not being satisfied with being unsatisfied. He calls us to action, though he does not claim to have the answers, he points us back to God’s Words to us.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • lazeekds
  • 30-01-2019

every Christian should read this

some of the principles in this book totally open my eyes to things I had never thought of before I really believe that every Christian should read this and get an idea of what true Christianity maybe. I've not ever done this, but I think he may be onto something!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristen L Gaines
  • 19-12-2018

Could have been better

I’ll start off by saying that I struggle reading actual books so I have audio books I try to supplement my lack of reading. I struggled to stay focused some times while reading this book and I’m sure it was due to the narrator. He can not convey the real personality of the author. The author is much more engaging and would have been a better narrator for the book in my opinion. Granted I have also only listened to a few other audio books to date I am learning that I prefer the voice of the original author over a paid narrator. Although I haven’t bought a book with Morgan Freeman as the narrator yet.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MyBEG17
  • 11-10-2018

Exceptional book.

I have learned so much from this book it has actually made me look at myself and evaluate myself. Thank you Francis Chan for pouring on your hard in this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenny
  • 19-09-2018

POWERFUL!!!

Possibly Francis Chan’s best work yet. Christians, listen up! Francis Chan speaks godly words and wisdom. Let’s get back to the basics of the first century Church - Christ’s Church.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Aimen Burhan
  • 05-10-2019

Letters of love of correction


I came with an open mind to this book. Being challenged is one thing, condemned another.

Structure does not automatically make the content right: his argument is,
Big church : problems
Small gatherings : perfect unity

But You can have the same problems affecting small groups that big churches have. And you have wonderful unity and fellowship in big churches.

I do not see any revelation from Chan’s writing. It’s all his opinion.

Leaving his church only made him more famous. It had the opposite effect that was intended. Which makes people want to listen. But controversy is not the same contrarian thinking.

He makes The Lord sound harsh, condemning and mystical unknowable at the same time.

We don’t live in the first century. There are many good reasons the church shouldn’t be the same as the first church. This is the basic problem with trying to imitate a community that did not have the same economic, medical and technology we’re now blessed with. We must hold onto to the head who is Christ, not any particular church of any age.

He humbly brags about his deep devotion but then also makes it sound like he’s unsure if he will be saved. If the the preeminent example of devotion is unsure of his salvation what hope everyone else? This could damage someone’s faith.

His idea of being stranded on an island with the Bible alone for you to interpret for the ‘true’ interpretation is also wrong. Because only the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit gives truth. Revelation > interpretation. Plus the different ministries we have throughout history of faithful men and women of God deserves to be listened to and often cherished. Listening to different ministries is not only ok, it’s beautiful. Again you can have your own relationship with God and be blessed by other ministries.

I love Francis Chan as a brother in Christ. I pray he is free from error and I imagine the tangles of torment he is in trying to please God. My brother rest, rest in the finished work of Christ. Jesus has done it all. We cling to Him.

Francis if you’re reading, please read ‘Destined do reign’ by Joseph Prince. Not a perfect book. But it does unveil Jesus and the Grace of God.

If you want to listen go for it. But if after you feel condemned, inadequate and feel a sense of unclearness come in your walk, the antidote is to rest in Christ. Enter into that rest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Uche
  • 27-11-2018

Mind blowing stuff

I used to wonder if I was weird for looking forward to forgoing sleep in order to attend the monthly all-night meeting with a significantly smaller crowd. But through this book it's now clear that God has put something inside of us which wants to praise him with others who are serious about seeking him; especially when regular church doesn't cut it at all.

This is a superb, challenging & inspirational book written with a humble heart. I sincerely pray that the Holy Spirit will lead my family & I into seeking him more genuinely & living the Re-imagined Christian life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • tiffer
  • 28-10-2019

tackling churchanity

quite a thought provoking book. it certainly made me think about what God wants from His church and ultimately me...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-09-2019

makes you reflect on what is church

Excellent book - an open and honest discussion on the reality of church. Will make you reevaluate what being part of / leading the church is truly about - the body of Christ

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  • David Brown
  • 14-08-2019

Engaging, thought-provoking and challenging.

Beautifully read, this book has given me much cause for thought and reflection on how my church functions and the things we value most. I am sure it will for you as well.

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  • Ope
  • 07-08-2019

Message well delivered as always

I really like this book. As usual Francis Chan clearly depicts the contents of the bible in a way that is very easy to understand. It is a very timely message all Christians should read whether your are building a church or you're part of one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-07-2019

Very challenging

This book forces the reader/listener to see the church how God intended to be seen.
Allot of what we call church is really something else.

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  • Jim
  • 03-07-2019

Prepare to be ruined for the cause!

Francis Chan in his typical style states simply and plainly that much of what passes for Church is wildly off the mark when compared to the Bible. This is not a cheap swipe at the traditional church, but a thought through, lived out reflection on how we build the church God is looking for. Compelling and humble, do NOT read this book unless you are prepared for the possibility that by the time it's done you'll be ready to forget everything you thought knew and start building the kingdom where you are.

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  • Mr. I. A. Norris
  • 15-05-2019

The BEST book! (After the Bible!!)

Francis Chan challenges every thought you've ever had about faith and church in this book!! He sets a huge test for the church body in their response to these challenges! A challenge everyone needs to be in on! Such a refreshing, much needed book!

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  • Sara
  • 05-02-2019

So good!!

it really open my eyes to what God's church should look like and I also learned alot about myself too.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful