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With statistics showing that nearly seven to eight African-Americans between the ages of 18-30 years old, who regularly attended church while in high school, have now stopped attending church altogether, a new book discusses whether or not many of the long standing traditions of ‘the black church’ have contributed to the growing apathy towards faith and religion that now exists within today’s generation.

83 THINGS I WISH THE BLACK CHURCH WOULD STOP DOING, the new book by Milan Ford, takes a bold, creative, and at times, tongue-in-cheek approach at unveiling how today’s predominately African-American church often fosters an environment of style and culture, over relevance. Released just last December, the self-published book is already in its second printing.

“As a 33 year old African American ministry leader who has spent 31 of those years growing and maturing within two predominately African-American churches,” Ford says, “I once firmly believed that the unique expression of worship, community, and service of ‘the black church’ would be something that would stand the test of time.”

“But after years of serving and mentoring both youth and college students alike,” he adds, “I’ve seen firsthand how in the eyes and ears of this generation, many of the church’s traditions have become much louder than the message of Christ we seek to deliver. What was once attractive is now unfortunately, repelling.”

83 THINGS I WISH THE BLACK CHURCH WOULD STOP DOING, which reached #1 on (in Religion & Spirituality / African-American) earlier this year, covers such topics as honorariums, contracted musicians, numerology, church choirs, and televised worship services, all with a twist of humor and an alternative outlook.

“This book is going to make a lot of people think, and at times, laugh out loud,” Ford says. “But I must warn you, this book may also make some people upset. Let’s face it; no one on earth takes themselves more seriously than we do as Christians.”

Ford believes the creative approach of the book has caught a lot of readers, both young and old, by surprise. “This book is not to criticize the church, as so many of my peers desire to do today, but to strategically disarm her critics by challenging those who lead her to be open to new things.”

“In order for our churches to change as they should, it’s going to take some tough love, and perhaps, as you’ll see in this book, a whole lot of laughter!”

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