Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron begins with Pastor Chase Falson melting down in front of his congregation, after having revealed to the reader he had undertaken a period of Christian counseling to try to get a handle on his questioning his faith.
The church board asked him to take a leave of absence until he worked through his problems and he responded by taking a trip to see his Uncle Kenny, who happened to have become a Franciscan monk in Italy and had been a spiritual influence to Chase in the past. Kenny welcomed him with open arms and then took him on a pilgrimage that would change his life forever–and his church. They took a tour of Italian food, art, and architecture, with God-inspired meetings along the way to enhance the story. Chase learns spiritual truths that challenge the downward spiral into complacency his home church has taken, and gives him a new direction.
Finally, there is a workbook section in the back, through which you can take a literary pilgrimage of your own, and ask yourself questions such as Pastor Falson did during his time away from his church.
To me this book had a scary beginning, but immediately hooked me to read to the end to find out how it turned out. I enjoyed reading “Chasing Francis” and it was thought provoking on many levels. It made me think about my own church and whether perhaps they could do with a little Francis. It made me think about my own life and whether I was living as Jesus would expect. Moderate doses of Biblical references were included but not overwhelming. Be prepared to be challenged and even a bit humbled as you enjoy this book by Ian Morgan Cron.
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze®.