Breakthrough author Francis Chan rips away paper and bows to get at the true source of the church's power—the Holy Spirit. Chan contends that we've ignored the Spirit for far too long, and we are reaping the disastrous results. Thorough scriptural support and compelling narrative form Chan's invitation to stop and remember the One we've forgotten, the Spirit of the living God.
In Center Church, Timothy Keller offers challenging insights and provocative questions based on over twenty years of ministry in New York City. This book outlines a theological vision for ministry - applying classic doctrines to our time and place - organized around three core commitments: • Gospel-centered: The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ changes everything, from our hearts to our community to the world. It completely reshapes the content, tone and strategy of all that we do. • City-centered: With a positive approach toward our culture, we learn to affirm that cities are wonderful, strategic and underserved places for gospel ministry. • Movement-centered: Instead of building our own tribe, we seek the prosperity and peace of our community as we are led by the Holy Spirit.
"In this important book, Tim Keller unpacks the gospel and gently but firmly reminds us that it is nonnegotiable. At the same time, he enables us to think through how we can responsibly interact with the culture, how we can - indeed, must - appreciate good things within it, and how we can firmly and faithfully apply the gospel to it." - D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
To counter this trend, authors Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson surveyed 300 churches from across ten different denominations that recently achieved healthy evangelistic growth after a significant season of decline. What they have discovered is an exciting method of congregation reinvigoration that is shared in the new book entitled Comeback Churches.
“As a successful pastor, church planter, researcher, and advisor to thousands of churches, Ed Stetzer speaks from a wealth of experience with all kinds of churches. Now, in one volume, your church can benefit from his wisdom. This book is a winner!”
—Dr. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and The Purpose-Driven Church
“First and foremost, it is biblical. Second, it is well researched. And third, it is immensely practical and applicable . . . this book should be in the hands of hundreds of thousands of pastors, staff, and church leaders. Simply stated, it is just that good.” —Thom S. Rainer, author of Simple Church, president/CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources
“Finally, a book of practical advice that is based on research. I have seen it both ways— endless research with little advice, or, much advice with little facts. This book strikes the balance with perfection.” —Elmer Towns, Dean of Liberty University
“This is the most helpful, practical book on church revitalization I’ve read this century.” —Leonard Sweet, Drew Theological School, George Fox University
“Comeback Churches is more than a pep talk. It’s rooted in the ‘right stuff’ to bring a congregation out of the dismal into the vital.” —Jack W. Hayford, President, International Foursquare Churches, Chancellor, The King’s College and Seminary
“No one, to my knowledge, has done the hard research, presented the facts, and offered such sound advice as Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson… Comeback Churches is the number-one book on turning around declining and plateauing church ministry. —Gary L. McIntosh, D.Min., Ph.D., Biola University
“A refreshing book by authors who know how to make research exciting and instructional. Leaders and members of non-growing evangelical churches should read this book (it wouldn't hurt mainliners either)!” —Bill Easum, Easum, Bandy & Associates
When Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, he revealed that the key for reaching the world with the gospel is found in sending, not gathering. Though many churches focus time and energy on attracting people and counting numbers, the real mission of the church isn’t how many people you can gather. It’s about training up disciples and then sending them out. The true measure of success for a church should be its sending capacity, not its seating capacity.
But there is a cost to this. To see ministry multiply, we must release the seeds God has placed in our hands. And to do that, we must ask ourselves whether we are concerned more with building our kingdom or God’s.
In Gaining By Losing, J.D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church’s priorities around God’s mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don’t need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches can, and must, do both.
Designed for use in discipleship relationships and other focused settings, Multiply will equip you to carry out Jesus’s ministry. Each of the twenty-four sessions in the book corresponds with an online video at www.multiplymovement.com, where New York Times bestselling author David Platt joins Francis in guiding you through each part of Multiply.One plus one plus one. Every copy of Multiply is designed to do what Jesus did: make disciples who make disciples who make disciples…. Until the world knows the truth of Jesus Christ.
"Shannon O'Dell's passion for the rural church in America is contagious" -Craig Groeschel, LifeChurch.tv
Small church buildings dotting the countryside are home to ministries that often struggle with limited attendance, no money, and little expectation that change can revitalize their future. In Transforming Church in Rural America, Pastor Shannon O'Dell shares a powerful vision of relevance, possibility, and excellence for these small churches, or for any ministry that is stuck in a "rural state of mind." The book reveals:how to generate growth through transformed lives ways to create active evangelism in your community no-cost solutions for staffing challenges, enhancing the worship experience, and inspiring volunteers
Focusing on vision, attitude, leadership, and innovation, you can learn the practical strategies and biblical guidance that helped to grow a church of 31 into a multi-campus church of several thousand, with a national and global outreach. Discover effective structure and ways to cast God-given vision so others can follow and make an impact. Experience the blueprint for transforming into effective, dynamic, and thriving churches no matter where the location or how small it may be.
Can the church truly be the "city on a hill that cannot be hidden" that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount? Can it grow large enough to attract throngs of seekers and yet be loving enough to care for each individual that comes? Bob Russell, pastor of Southeast Christian Church—one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America—says that it most certainly can. But it can only be done when we are submissive to God's will and allow Him to build that church. In the pages of this far-sighted, uncompromising book, Bob Russell and his son Rusty share the ten principles upon which this remarkable church was founded. Throughout the book, you will see God's mighty power at work in a church that began in 1962 with only 50 members and has now grown to over 14,000 and has become a bustling "city on a hill" whose beaming faith powerfully impacts its community and the world. This book shares not only the story of one of the most amazing churches in America but also the story of what your church can become as you follow these ten time-tested principles and allow God to build your church.
Driven by a passion for the body of Christ, Frank Viola has written some of today's most authoritative and celebrated works on the growing home, organic, and missional church movements. Now Viola shares practical keys to a healthy and successful church plant.
Viola contends that many congregations today are struggling to survive, not because of bad planning, but poor planting. He presents an essential guide for starting and nourishing organic churches in any culture. Drawing from both Scripture and a wealth of experience, Viola offers real-world tools, insights, and practical suggestions so churches won't just grow, but thrive.
But how do people really grow? Transformational Discipleship describes the process that brings to life that kind of person described in the Bible. There’s no magic formula or mantra to recite here, but rather a substantive measure of research with churches and individuals who have wholeheartedly answered the call of Jesus to make disciples.
A compilation of their wisdom and stories, it surely guides church leaders and members to practice the intentional efforts needed to foster an entire culture in which people grow in Christian faith.
And they will grow, not because of human research, but by the power of the Word and of the Holy Spirit working through the church—the same way disciples have always been made. When the people of God engage in the mission of God through the Spirit of God, lives are transformed.
Churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation's leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults. It profiles innovative churches that are engaging 15- to 29-year-olds and as a result are growing--spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and numerically. Packed with both research and practical ideas, Growing Young shows pastors and ministry leaders how to position their churches to engage younger generations in a way that breathes vitality, life, and energy into the whole church.
Visit www.churchesgrowingyoung.org for more information.
This book sets forth a step-by-step, biblically grounded, proven plan for creating immediate church growth by utilizing a "Big Day" to mobilize the church for evangelism. This user-friendly guide will show church leaders what they need to do to reach the unchurched in their communities and break through the debilitating growth barriers that are holding them back.
Through the inspiration of testimonies and stories, combined with the down-to-earth, applicable teaching that Searcy readers have come to expect and appreciate, Ignite will give church leaders the tools they desperately need to reach and keep modern-minded, unchurched people to create and sustain growth momentum.
Filled with stories that reveal the long road of relational evangelism and guidance on how to listen to others well, The Unbelievable Gospel is a much-needed resource that will benefit both individuals and churches. Included are study questions for training and group discussion.
The church is losing ground fast: losing the generation under age 30 and drawing few nonbelievers toward Christ. Christ gave us a leadership model for commando outreach, and the church has ignored it for too long. Will we continue down the path of self-preservation, defending our stalled church structures? Or will we follow the blueprint Jesus lays out? Church Zero challenges readers to once again become a radical, dangerous people who cannot be ignored. It’s time to break out!
The global community of Christians is stunning in its scope and spiritual impact. But what is happening to the Church as new technology, marketing, and generational shifts make their unavoidable mark? And what difference does it make for Christians in day-to-day life? Equal parts travelogue, character study, and global documentary, The Meeting of the Waters interlaces stories and instruction in the tradition of Freakonomics, The World Is Flat, and The Tipping Point. This breakthrough book is for any Christian eager to make a difference in a changing world.
With additional and newly updated material, this leadership classic reveals the most common errors that leaders consistently make-regardless of training or age-and the way to stop these bad habits from undermining their positive talents and accomplishments.
Whether you are leading a company, a ministry, a Girl Scout troop, or your family, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make is a must-read for anyone who wants to lead others effectively.
"If you're like me, you've grown weary of the published cookie-cutter approaches on how to lead effectively. And so has Hans Finzel. He drills to the core of the current issues on effective leadership."?
-Charles R. Swindoll, author and president of Dallas Theological Seminary
"This is one of the most practical books on leadership I have in my own library. If you are serious about becoming a better leader, you will want to read this book."?
-John C. Maxwell, author, speaker, and founder of the INJOY Group
You must have a mega church because God’s will is that “His house may be filled.” Find out more in this "must have" for all pastors by Dag Heward-Mills.
Across the country, churches are creating entertaining, pop culture-savvy services that feel more market-driven than ministry. On the menu? A proven blend of dynamic music, high-tech dazzle, and topical teachings. And just like any successful product, churches are launching campuses that build on their brand.
But is the franchised church of today leading to the disenfranchised believers of tomorrow? Though thousands flock to these services, how many lives are truly being changed? Have we traded real truth for relevancy?
Franchising McChurch takes an honest look at the rise of consumer-minded ministries. Authors Thomas White and John Yeats tackle a spiritual shift that is raising provocative issues such as:The blurry line between entertainment and evangelism A marketing approach to ministry The warped yardstick for measuring church success Feel-good messages that avoid tough truths
Candid and compelling, Franchising McChurch calls us back to the heart of Christ's church, and shares the Biblical design for delivering meaningful, life-changing ministry in a fast-food world.
For the many Christians eager to prove we can be both holy and cool, cultural pressures are too much. We either compartmentalize our faith or drift from it altogether—into a world that’s so alluring.
Have you wondered lately:Why does the Western church look so much like the world? Why are so many of my friends leaving the faith?How can we get back to our roots?
Disappearing Church will help you sort through concerns like these, guiding you in a thoughtful, faithful, and hopeful response. Weaving together art, history, and theology, pastor and cultural observer Mark Sayers reminds us that real growth happens when the church embraces its countercultural witness, not when it blends in.
It’s like Jesus said long ago, “If the salt loses its saltiness, it is no longer good for anything…”
The drive to be great—to be a success by the standards of the world—often crowds out the qualities of goodness, virtue, and faithfulness that should define the central focus of Christian leadership. In the culture of today’s church, successful leadership is often judged by what works, while persistent faithfulness takes a back seat. If a ministry doesn’t produce results, it is dropped. If people don’t respond, we move on. This pursuit of “greatness” exerts a crushing pressure on the local church and creates a consuming anxiety in its leaders. In their pursuit of this warped vision of greatness, church leaders end up embracing a leadership narrative that runs counter to the sacrificial call of the gospel story.
When church leaders focus on faithfulness to God and the gospel, however, it’s always a kingdom-win—regardless of the visible results of their ministry. John the Baptist modeled this kind of leadership. As John’s disciples crossed the Jordan River to follow after Jesus, John freely released them to a greater calling than following him. Speaking of Jesus, John said: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Joyfully satisfied to have been faithful to his calling, John knew that the size and scope of his ministry would be determined by the will of the Father, not his own will. Following the example of John the Baptist and with a careful look at the teaching of Scripture, Tim Suttle dares church leaders to risk failure by chasing the vision God has given them—no matter how small it might seem—instead of pursuing the broad path of pragmatism that leads to fame and numerical success.
The U-Turn Church walks readers through the roadblocks of tradition, lack of vision or leadership, structural problems, and concerns about denominational distinctives to forge a new way forward into a hope-filled future. Through the stories of two churches that have experienced healthy transformation, readers will see that there is not just one right way to reverse decline. They will receive practical help and wisdom born of experience as they begin their own U-Turn journey.
Too often churches are unable to reform and revise their approach to ministry. Declining churches need to rebuild. Stagnant ministries must pursue the next level. Even growing congregations can struggle to keep up with the pace of change. So why do so many churches fail to adapt? How can ministries envision, implement, and evaluate effective change?
Kevin G. Ford has the powerful answers. As a consultant to ministries across the country, Ford has helped hundreds of churches experience genuine change and growth. Filled with eye-opening insights, Transforming Church identifies five dysfunctions of an unhealthy church, and shares the five key indicators of a healthy, vibrant congregation. You'll discover the keys for creating a church that transforms lives, your community, and the world.
This book offers everything you need to explore what a difference an honest, living, growing faith can make in our world today. It also puts tools in your hands to create a life-changing learning community in any home, restaurant, or other welcoming space.
The fifty-two (plus a few) weekly readings can each be read aloud in 10 to 12 minutes and offer a simple curriculum of insightful reflections and transformative practices. Organized around the traditional church year, these readings give an overview of the whole Bible and guide an individual or a group of friends through a year of rich study, interactive learning, and personal growth.
Perfect for home churches, congregations, classes, or individual study, each reading invites you to
Cultivate an honest, intelligent understanding of the Bible and of Christian faith in 21st century Engage with discussion questions designed to challenge, stimulate, and encourageReimagine what it means to live joyfully and responsibly in today's world as agents of God's justice, creativity, and peace If you're seeking a fresh way to experience and practice your faith, if you're a long-term Christian seeking new vitality, or if you feel out of place in traditional church circles, this book will inspire and activate you in your spiritual journey.
Indeed, our lives should be "sent" in worship to the King of kings, spreading out from our weekly gathering places to extend God's Kingdom worldwide. To that end, Pastor Hood shares stories from his experiences at LifePoint Church, a congregation with smalltown roots that has also planted churches in Bangkok, Thailand, and Brussels, Belgium, among other places.
How does man's heart move closer to God's heart? How do we "live sent" in our community or halfway around the world? What good things that happen in church life might actually threaten to obscure the greater things being orchestrated by God? How does everyone at church move from being a member to a missionary? Find out in The Sending Church.
In Hero Maker you will learn how to bring real change to your church and community by developing the practical skills to help others reach their leadership potential.
Drawing on five powerful practices found in the ministry of Jesus, Hero Maker presents the key steps of apprenticeship that will build up other leaders and provides strategies for how you can activate gifts, help others take ownership, and develop a simple scorecard for measuring your kingdom-building progress.
Besides rich insights from the Gospels, Hero Maker is packed with real-life ministry stories ranging from paid staff to volunteer leaders and from established churches to new church plants. A practical tool accompanies each of the five practices, with several illustrations for how to use it.
Whether you lead ten people or ten thousand, Hero Maker will not only help you maximize your leadership, but in doing so you will also help shift today's church culture to a model of reproduction and multiplication. Authors Dave Ferguson (a Chicago pastor and church planter) and Warren Bird (an award-winning writer) make a compelling case that God's power and purpose are best revealed when we train and release others, who in turn do likewise.
Become that rare breed of leader who brings change into our world by sacrificially investing in others who become the heroes. By becoming a hero maker, you will join a movement of influencers that are impacting hundreds, thousands and perhaps millions of people around the world.
Big churches get all the love. Articles, books, conferences—they mostly feature leaders of large congregations. Yet big churches are a small part of the ecclesial landscape. In fact, more than 90 percent of churches have fewer than 200 people. That means small churches play a big part in what God is doing.
Small Church Essentials is for leaders of these smaller congregations. It encourages them to steward their role well, debunking myths about small churches while offering principles for leading a dynamic, healthy small church.
Based on the popular six-hour lecture that Karl Vaters delivers to church leaders across the country, Small Church Essentials will affirm small church leaders and show them how to identify what they do well, and how to do it even better. Readers will:Be assured that leading a small congregation does not make them ministry failuresCome away inspired to lead with passion, regardless the size of their churchHave field-tested principles for leading a church in their contextPossess new metrics for biblically measuring vitality in small churchesHave a toolkit of resources to use in their everyday ministry
Karl Vaters has been a small church pastor for 30 years, is the author of The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us (2013), and travels extensively to churches and conferences to speak about leading a small church well.
If you are pastoring a small church, this book will be a breath of fresh air. It will affirm your calling while giving you fresh tools to help you lead. It will help you:Stop believing lies about small churchesLead your church to fulfill the role only small churches canUnderstand your congregation’s strengths and weaknesses Turn around a dying or unhealthy churchIdentify good trends and bad in church and culture