One size does not fit all, but there are cultural codes that must be broken for all churches to grow and remain effective in their specific mission context. Breaking the Missional Code provides expert insight on church culture and church vision casting, plus case studies of successful missional churches impacting their communities.
"We have to recognize there are cultural barriers (in addition to spiritual ones) that blind people from understanding the gospel," the authors write. "Our task is to find the right way to break through those cultural barriers without removing the spiritual and theological ones."
But for every evil success, Rankin and Stetzer point to where Satan is failing, thus encouraging readers to renew their passion to declare GodÕs glory among the nations. Indeed, by taking up the call to action here, we can be sure that the kingdoms of the world will become the kingdom of the Lord.
The kingdom of God changes all that.
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
Surveying the landscape, however, there are some bright spots where churches are faithfully producing transformed disciples. Furthermore, as shown in Scripture and supported by new research, God designed such transformation to often happen in the context of smaller groups of people.
But what characteristics are true of churches that are making transformed disciples through group-based ministry-whether small groups, missional communities, Sunday school, or some other expression of groups?
In Transformational Groups, Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger have created a new scorecard that will provide a map to transformational success for your church’s groups ministry. Using data from the largest survey of pastors and laypersons ever done on the condition of groups in the church, they define a simple process to lead your groups from where they are to where God wants them to be.
It is time to take heart and rework the scorecard.
According to Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer, the authors of Transformational Church, "Too often we've highlighted the negative realities of the declining American church but missed the opportunity to magnify the God of hope and transformation."
Based on the most comprehensive study of its kind, including a survey of more than 7,000 churches and hundreds of on-site interviews with pastors, Transformational Church takes us to the thriving congregations where truly changing lives is the norm.
Stetzer and Rainer clearly confirm the importance of disciple making for all through active biblical engagement and prayerful dependence on God alongside of ever-increasing, intentional participation in mission and ministry activities. As the church engages these issues, the world will see the change:
* More people following Christ
* More believers growing in their faith
* More churches making an impact on their communities
The transformation starts now.