It was a story Jesus liked to tell. If a man owned a hundred sheep and one of them wandered away, he would, without hesitation, leave the ninety-nine and search for the one. And when he found that lost sheep he would celebrate with great joy. In the same way, Jesus concluded, our Father in heaven-like the shepherd-is unwilling for any of his sheep to be lost.
Yet all too often God's sheep do wander from the flock. Sometimes, for reasons that are hard to discern, they stray on their own. Other times they're driven away, perhaps wounded by an unkind word or thoughtless deed. InBring 'Em Back Alive author Dave Burchett shows us the importance of bringing these lost and wounded lambs back to the fold-or, when we're the ones who wandered, becoming willing to return. He explains, step-by-step, how to replenish the spiritual strength of Christ's body. And he reminds us that we, like the shepherd, can know the joy that comes when a lost sheep returns home.
Every believer is a precious part of Christ's body. When even one is missing, the church lacks power and is less than whole. Whether we're victims, perpetrators, or innocent bystanders we're called by God to seek restoration. And when one of God's sheep goes missing we have no choice: We must Bring 'Em Back Alive.
Includes questions at the end of each chapter for discussion and reflection.
"Dave Burchett has tactfully tackled a tricky and serious issue in contemporary church life. Using plenty of appropriate humor and examples from scripture to make his points, his message is both practical and powerful. If you care about the family of God you should read this, whether you think you need to or not."
-John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association
"There are few people I would trust to handle the sticky subject of bringing healing to church-wounded Christians, but Dave Burchett is most definitely one of them. With compassion, insight, firmness, and his own unique brand of humor, Dave pushes us past fruitless quibbling about who's to blame into God-honoring dialogue about what's to be done. I think I can already hear some applause from Heaven"
-Andrew McQuitty, senior pastor of Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas
"Witty and warm, pithy and profound. If you're MIA because of church-inflicted wounds-or if you love someone who is-Bring 'Em Back Alive is for you. Dave Burchett has written a compelling reminder that, as one of Christ's sheep you are loved, you are wanted, and you are not alone!"
-Sandra Glahn, best-selling author and instructor at Dallas Theological Seminary
"Bring 'Em Back Alive challenges the reader to get involved with those who have left the church for one reason or another. As I read the book, I found myself arguing with Dave, 'It's too hard. They won't listen. I don't have the time.' But with solid biblical analysis, a healthy dose of edgy humor, and with genuine compassion born of his own experience, he convinced me that my excuses don't matter. Christ's wandering sheep need our help. Who will reach out to them if we don't? I'm glad I read this book because I needed it. Pastor, buy two copies of this book-one for yourself and one to give away. It's that good."
-Dr. Ray Pritchard, author of An Anchor for the Soul and senior pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois
"I have heard it said that 'the church is the only institution that shoots its wounded.' I needed this book many times when I and my family were in the crosshairs, but there was none like it. It's my hope that when circumstances find you as the wounded, you will not run from the church, but run to its leader, Jesus Christ. He understands what being wounded is all about. In His arms you will be brought back alive!"
-Ron DiCianni, artist and author
"Dave Burchett has provided Christians with a wise and practical challenge that will bring joy and life to the church of the twenty-first century. With downright funny metaphors and down-to-earth honesty, he gently challenges readers to become agents of God's grace, so that all may experience His healing and wholeness."
-Dr. Steve Moore, senior vice president of Asbury Theological Seminary
"This book is salve to wounded hearts and those with a heart for the spiritually wounded. Dave Burchett gently and compassionately provides insight and direction for the journey toward healing. His humor (he is genuinely one of the funniest people I know!) provides delightful moments of respite in the midst of a difficult subject. The body of Christ needs this book!"
-Sue Bohlin, speaker, writer, and Webservant for Probe Ministries
"In writing this book, author Dave Burchett...uses his own life experiences and clever wit to communicate the importance of restoring people of faith to fellowship."
-John Frost, noted broadcast strategist