Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review: Changing Churches: A View from the Pew

Are you a "church hopper" or thinking of becoming one?  
Do you look down on Christians who change churches? 
 Did you know that 76% of "church switchers" are devout Christians? 
 Do you wonder about vast changes in church? 
Do you wonder what will bring church unity and transformation? 

Changing Churches describes, through the eyes of one couple, the difficult journey that "church switchers" travel-a journey often precipitated by disruptive church changes. The book encourages Christ-like transformative change in churches rather than man-devised makeovers. 

As you read you will learn about: 
The right reasons to leave a church. 
 How to manage the pain and angst of leaving a familiar church. 
 How to search for another church-the anxiety and adventure. 
 How to handle conflict between spouses about leaving and searching. 
How to find the new church that fits you and fits God's plan for you. 

Changing Churches is helpful in understanding the sweeping changes in churches and what we can do to build up the church.

My Review:  Changing Churches: A view from the Pew is vastly different from the genre of christian books I read and review.  Frankly, this was the first time I've encountered this topic in print!  And let me tell you, from it's bold and brave opening glance at Dottie and Mike's personal journey with churches, I was instantly drawn in.  She speaks from the heart, opens her soul, and shares so much of her personalized christian life through her writing and journal entries.  Dottie is not only genuine and comforting in her knowledge and experience, she writes as if she is an old friend, and it's very refreshing.

Although my husband and I belonged to just one church before our previous one (and we left that one due to it's destruction from a major Hurricane!), I have personally walked the walk of wondering how you can feel so alone, so alienated, so isolated in the House of God?  How can people you deem 'christians' spew hate and cliche-ish like behavior, ostracizing the ones they do not deem worthy?  I felt sadness beyond belief, I felt shame in the not knowing and the wondering what did I do or not do and most of all, I felt very ALONE.  When I picked up Dottie's book, I can tell you, I was already enchanted with the book:  It's not always our fault, it's not always in our control, and that church just might not be the one for you.  I felt her pain, I felt her words speaking to my heart, christian to christian, because I, too, have been 'there'.

More than the two parts to this book, and the 14 informative chapters packed within, there is a journey to take in it's words.
Dottie explores that while change is sometimes good (and good for the soul), and it might not always be easy ~ The heart of the man plans his way; but the Lord establishes his steps. -Proverbs 16:9
One of the passages that jumped out to me the analogy as our spiritual tanks being like cars - we run on empty, we run out, and we need God to refresh us - fill us!  I was also moved with the author sharing her need for deep repentance and went on a 'searching and fearless inventory." I was drawn to her personal conviction and brave approach to facing personal sins and righting the wrongs she believed strongly in.  What a testimony!
This book brings a strong feeling of healing and life beyond reasons for leaving a church - whether by choice or by force or simply God-lead.   For it's specific topic and theme, this book is right on the mark!  Thank you, Dottie Parish, for the opportunity to review your book: Changing Churches: A View from the Pew.

About the Author

Dottie Parish brings a seasoned counselor’s wise viewpoint and the soft heart of a child of God to her first book called Changing Churches: A View from the Pew.
A longtime resident of the greater Cincinnati area, Parish holds a Master of Social Work degree from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University.
She has more than 30 years of professional experience as a counselor at two family service agencies as well as in private practice. Her experience included diagnosing and treating individuals representing a wide variety of problems, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ages as well as short and long term therapy. Her private practice included individual, marital and family therapy with special interest in helping couples resolve marital differences.
She organized and led The Third Option educational group for married couples from 1996-2007 – in two locations
Parish also wrote a weekly advice column, “Family Counselor,” for more than fifteen years for the Hamilton Journal News, Hamilton, Ohio.
Dottie Parish is a wife, mother and grandmother and she loves Jesus and His Church. Her current devotion to God and His church stems from extreme misgivings about drifting away from God and church after graduate school. She and her husband lived for decades without faith. Their return to faith in 1990 begins the journey described in Changing Churches.
Blog: Dottie blogs on a variety of subjects at and on Marriage and Family issues on

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.  

Book Review:  Changing Churches

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kelli,

    Thanks for writing such a beautiful review of my book, Changing Churches! I just discovered it and found it also on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble. I'm so glad you liked my book. Thanks also for spreading review around to various sites.

    Blessings, Dottie