Book Review: I Sold My Soul on eBay

Outside perspectives are always helpful. They can provide critique on things that insiders may overlook or take for granted. Their insight can also be an encouragement in the sense that they like or approve of what you are trying to do. And that is what I Sold My Soul on eBay by Hemant Mehta is about. Mehta, who labels himself the ‘friendly atheist’, visits numerous churches around the country after putting up his ‘soul’ on eBay. He writes at length about different churches he visits . . . small, traditional churches, mid-sized ones, large ones, and three mega-churches. At the end, he puts forth some conclusions he has made throughout the experience – both the good things about churches and the bad things. And here they are.

What Churches Are Doing Well (Or need to do well in order to reach out to a guy like him):  

  1. Quality and Effectiveness of Speakers
  2. Community Outreach
  3. Energy and Passion
  4. Dialogue Featuring Opposing Viewpoints
  5. Relevant Sermons

What Churches Aren’t Doing So Well:

  1. Lack of Sensitivity towards Non-religious People
  2. Too Much Singing
  3. Members of Church Do Not Pay Attention Very Well (If at all)
  4. Distracting Behavior (e.g., how people express their worship towards God)
  5. No Question-and-Answer Time
  6. Religious Extremism
  7. Confusing Rituals and Traditions
  8. Overuse of Technology

An interesting read on the church from an outsider’s perspective. Not a great book by any means, but one that will hold a mirror up to you and your church.

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