In some ways, this is a tough one to review—1) because I never needed the authors to convince me, because, in turn, 2) I kind of knew all this already.
Thing is, it’s pretty clear that the majority of the American church either doesn’t know Arnie Cole and Michael Ross’ message, or chooses to ignore it. But they do so at their own risk, because it’s as simple as this: If you want to become unstuck in your walk with God, you’re going to have to spend time in His Word.
The authors have done their homework here, too—some 70,000 surveys were conducted, to determine where spiritual growth was occuring in people’s lives. The one overwhelming indicator: time spent in the Bible. And not just study, but time spent meditating and interacting with the Word. The authors are very clear that this is about a relationship, and that by interacting more about what God has already said to us, we are in a much better place to receive what He has for us next.
Now, given that the authors are the CEO and editor for the organization Back to the Bible, you might think “Well, of course they’re gonna say that a lack of Bible reading is the problem, and find a way to make the numbers back it up.” But the fact is, this is the same “revelation” Willow Creek’s Reveal study uncovered five years ago — the only common factor between all levels of spiritual growth was time spent in the Bible. So the authors are on very solid ground here.
And they take that revelation a step further: People who spent three days or less each week in the Bible, they assert, are just as stuck as those who don’t read it at all. It’s only when people are “powered by four” (or more, days in the Bible each week) that significant growth is likely to occur.
The book is divided into three sections: identifying the problem, “The Powered by Four Solution,” and advice on how to take what’s God’s doing inside you through His Word and go outward. Again, a lot of what’s here may not be new… to some. But it’s a message that needs to be taken to heart.
There’s also a good amount of first-person accounts here, which help the reader understand and identify with the different types of “stuck-ness” we experience — sin, desert experiences, legalism, etc. Also, the online resources that accompany this book (available at http://unstuck.gotandem.com/#/church-resources) are quite useful; sermon notes, small-group resources, and all-church campaign materials can be found there. Personally, I wished the small-group materials had included some more incisive questions, but that’s what I do; most groups will find the materials here helpful — they’re on target and pretty well done. (The gotandem site looks pretty interesting in general; gonna spend some more time there.)
So, if you know that your time in the Word is an area in which you’re lacking, get Unstuck. You’ll discover way to make the Bible—and God—more real in your life.