Could brain science be the key to spiritual formation?
Why does true Christian transformation seem fleeting? And why does church often feel lonely, Christian community shallow, and leaders untrustworthy? For many Christians, the delight of encountering Christ eventually dwindles—and disappointment sets in. Is lasting joy possible?
These are some of the questions Michel Hendricks has considered both in his experience as a spiritual formation pastor and in his lifetime as a Christian. He began to find answers when he met Jim Wilder—a neurotheologian. Using brain science, Wilder identified that there are two halves of the church: the rational half and the relational half. And when Christians only embrace the rational half, churches become unhealthy places where transformation doesn't last and narcissistic leaders flourish.
In The Other Half of Church, join Michel and Jim's journey as they couple brain science with the Bible to identify how to overcome spiritual stagnation by living a full-brained faith. You'll also learn the four ingredients necessary to develop and maintain a vibrant transformational community where spiritual formation occurs, relationships flourish, and the toxic spread of narcissism is eradicated.
Praise for The Other Half of Church
"This book is genius. It will soon be a standard among discipleship experts. If you have ever been frustrated at the hit-or-miss success of the church's ability to guide people into real life change, this book is for you. It not only explains why traditional discipleship has struggled; it offers practical advice for creating a truly transformational discipleship culture. Jim's expertise along with Michel's experience and easy reading style make this book a game changer in discipleship ministry."
—MARCUS WARNER, President, Deeper Walk International
"This masterfully crafted book about God's design for our brains and how it influences spiritual growth unmasks left-brain dominance in the church and skillfully shows that the right brain is the primary driver of character change and spiritual formation. Biblical teaching, measurable strategies, and practical exercises unfold how to nurture right-brain graces of covenant love, joy, gratitude, and group identity, resulting in the goals of personal and congregational transformation. In decades of ministry, I haven't engaged a book with such spiritual potential and power. Enthusiastically recommended."
—BRUCE DEMAREST, Author and Senior Professor of Christian Formation at Denver Seminary
"Jim Wilder's years of work in brain science are now paying off for all of us who have struggled with how to renew the mind for lasting transformation. I am grateful for this gigantic step in grasping the even better news of the gospel."
—DUDLEY HALL, author of Grace Works, Orphans No More, and other books targeting spiritual growth and Christian discipleship; founder of Kerygma Ventures
"Few men have seen the church as has Jim Wilder as both a theologian and psychologist. This book is a treasury offered to you. Regardless of your age you will find food for thought that you can taste and see that God is good. goodness of God shared with us so we can pass the basket of bread on to others."
—JIM HYLTON, pastor, author, and conference speaker from Fort Worth, TX
"I don't think I've read a more important book on discipleship in the past twenty-five years than this one. The church is starving for this book. It grows out of an understanding of the kingdom of God and impacts what that means to live it on a daily basis. This could be a game changer because it doesn't deal with the "disciplines" of discipleship as much as it does the framework of how we grow and live in community. It's not the kind of book you'll read and put down and forget—it will stay with you as you grow in the truth it teaches."
—BOB ROBERTS JR., Global Senior Pastor, Northwood Church, Keller, TX; founder, Glocal.net
"Every time I read a new book written by Jim Wilder, my learning curve is satisfied and blessed with teaching and tools that enable me to practice new habits and relational skills that I am eager to share with clients, friends, seminary students, identity groups, all my friends on Facebook, and everyone in the world if I could."
—JOE JOHNSON, founder and director of Heart of the Father Ministries
"The Other Half of Church opens a path out of the concrete structures of established churches to go into a living garden."
—THOMAS GERLACH, pastor, Hagen, Germany
"Michel Hendricks and Jim Wilder take you on a journey that may sound familiar—knowing biblical truths but not knowing how to genuinely live them out in relationship. What they find in wrestling with this reality leads to surprising places like combining neuroscience and early church spiritual practices. If you have a sense of dissatisfaction in your scriptural knowledge compared to your ability to live these teachings out in authentic caring relationships, read on. Michel's story is a good place to start in changing that."
—FERNANDO GARZON, assistant dean, School of Psychology and Counseling, Regent University
"Michel and James have dared to bring us to the realization that we have left out half of God's equation to help us grow spiritually. They scientifically and practically offer us the elements we need to engage the second half of our brain in becoming more and more Christlike for the sake of others, and bring true character transformation from the inside out—full-brained Christian character development. A must-read for all those engaged in helping others grow spiritually and for all those feeling plateaued in their own personal growth."
—RANDY FRAZEE, pastor and author of Think, Act, Be like Jesus
"For most of my Christian life (more than fifty years), I've had a nagging feeling that something important was missing when it came to spiritual growth. Jim and Michel have provided the missing piece—the critical role that my right brain plays in spiritual growth! For anyone interested in becoming a disciple or in making disciples, this book is a game changer!"
—JOHN WHITE, Team Leader of the LK10 Community; coauthor of Joy Fueled: Catalyzing a Revolution of Joyful Communities; host of the podcast Stories from the Revolution
"Michel Hendricks and Jim Wilder have written a brilliant book that will mark a watershed moment in the lived praxis of Christian discipleship. Bridging the connections between neuroscience and the transformative power of the gospel, Hendricks and Wilder have gifted the body of Christ with profound insights into workings of the human brain in relationship to the heart of the Father for His church."
—JULIA R. MOORE, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, UNC Charlotte; cofounder of Moore Grace Ministries, Charlotte, NC
"The Other Half of Church clearly points out what we all know intuitively—all of our programs, classes, services, trainings, and ministries are not producing the type of transformed disciple Jesus described in John 10:10. With a winsome narrative and practical illustrations, Hendricks and Wilder give the four essential nutrients for healthy, life-changing soil. They also give practical steps toward infusing those nutrients into your life, home, community, and church. This book is essential reading for all of us who think, There has to be more."
—TOM ANTHONY, Executive Pastor of Ministries and Outreach at Mountain Springs Church and author of Building Better Community
"This vital and timely work takes up the challenge of learning the love that Jesus speaks to us about as life's greatest principle. It is the challenge both the individual and the church face in growing up into Christlikeness that the world desperately needs to see. The integrated approach, relating brain function to love, joy, and life, is profound. This book is a must for all serious disciples and those who disciple both in the church and in missions."
—BRUCE THOMPSON, Dean Emeritus, College of Counseling and Healthcare, University of the Nations, Youth with a Mission
"In The Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow wistfully sings, "If I only had a brain . . ." The good news is that God has given us all one—a brain, that is! I invite you to read The Other Half of Church and consider how the Creator cares for your entire being. This book will challenge your presuppositions about how disciples are made and encourage you to avoid the sort of body versus soul dualism that has plagued the church for centuries."
—TOM COX, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church; seasoned disciple-maker and a veteran of both campus and church-based ministry
"Everything you are experiencing will make much more sense when you read The Other Half of Church! The rest of the story that we all need to hear is that discipleship, counseling, and true change is really possible, but require us to address the whole heart, the whole mind, the whole body, and our whole self in the process!"
—STEVE FAIR, director, Renewal Christian Counseling Center; author, Journey into the Divided Heart
"Michel Hendricks in his partnership with Jim Wilder has provided all of us with not only a thorough diagnosis but pathways to treatment for our most deeply rooted struggles. The Other Half of Church will not only help you identify why you continue to struggle to live a joyful life but it will illuminate a pathway to joy that has long been neglected."
—SCOTT NICKELL, teaching pastor at Southland Christian Church in central Kentucky
The Other Half of Church is a Copernican shift in how we think and live out character transformation and spiritual and emotional growth. It is a must-read for every Christian leader, theologian, and follower of Jesus. The book is a practical guide that helps us return to long-neglected practices of Christian discipleship and how we live out the life that Jesus makes possible for all.
—JOHN LAMB, professor, Colorado Christian University
"The Other Half of the Church may have cracked the code for what's missing in many churches today. By deftly intersecting biblical truth with neuroscience, Jim and Michel present a sound case to fertilize the soil of our churches with four biblical nutrients. By doing so, leaders can help transform the health of their churches and the hearts of their people. If you are a church leader (or not), this is