McIntosh defines church growth as "all that is involved in bringing men and women who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ into fellowship with him and into responsible church membership." In other words, church growth is effective evangelism, not a methodology for increasing membership. According to Biblical Church Growth, growing churches always evidence a desire to fulfill the Great Commission by cooperating with God in building a faithful church.
Using personal stories and current statistics as well as numerous biblical examples, the author sets forth ten basic principles that provide an eternal foundation for helping any church-large or small-achieve lasting vitality and growth.
"I am totally unaware of a more comprehensive treatment of this subject in any book, including those of mine. It should be read by all worshipers, and should be required study for all who aspire to lead congregational worship."
- Dr. Judson Cornwall, from the foreword
Characteristics, interests, and values of each group--Builders, Boomers, Busters, and Bridgers--are explored in relation to the historical events and social trends that have shaped them. McIntosh thoughtfully analyzes the factors that influence each generation's relationship to the church, and he gives helpful suggestions for types of ministry and worship styles to draw members of that group.
Helpful tables offer summaries of information relating to each generation, including formative experiences, religious characteristics, and methods of ministry. Pastors, church leaders, seminary professors, and students will find One Church, Four Generations a valuable resource in mapping out strategies for relevant church programming in the twenty-first century.
Using the texts of the New Testament, Yoder critically examines the traditional portrait of Jesus as an apolitical figure and attempts to clarify the true impact of Jesus' life, work, and teachings on his disciples' social behavior.
The book first surveys the multiple ways the image of an apolitical Jesus has been propagated, then canvasses the Gospel narrative to reveal how Jesus is rightly portrayed as a thinker and leader immediately concerned with the agenda of politics and the related issues of power, status, and right relations. Selected passages from the epistles corroborate a Savior deeply concerned with social, political, and moral issues.
In this thorough revision of his acclaimed 1972 text, Yoder provides updated interaction with publications touching on this subject. Following most of the chapters are new "epilogues" that summarize research conducted during the last two decades -- research that continues to support the insights set forth in Yoder's original work.
Currently a standard in many college and seminary ethics courses, The Politics of Jesus is also an excellent resource for the general reader desiring to understand Christ's response to the world of politics and his will for those who would follow him.
"The needs of people and churches have continued to change, with questions now being raised about the quality of congregational life, nature of leadership, and responsibility for ministry among all believers . . . As we have prepared this edition, we have sought to address five primary needs.
1. Leadership skills and administrative tools that can be adapted for use in a variety of contexts from traditional to contemporary, from rural to urban, and from unicultural to multicultural settings;
2. Spiritual formation that relates to all of life (from birth to death);
3. Mission consciousness (in community, regionally, nationally, and globally);
4. Ministry of all believers (particularly calling out and equipping vocational, bivocational, and lay ministers); and
5. Leadership competence (the ability to inspire, motivate, and equip the saints for the work of ministry)."
This book's unique focus presents a holistic picture of how lay leadership, not just clergy, can turn a church around. It is packed with practical examples that may be put to immediate use. McIntosh, a church growth specialist, provides step-by-step guidance to help pastors and lay leaders:
•recognize and defeat enemies of the twenty-first century church
•heal past wounds
•look back to discover purpose, values, and vision for the future
•accomplish more by doing less
•control finances while leaping forward
•develop a long-range plan for effective ministry
Writing for students as well as those already in this line of work, author Robert H. Welch promises, "If you understand the tenants of general administration and the techniques of ministerial leadership your job will be made significantly easier."
•a nine-step strategic thinking and acting model
•useful ideas for developing a ministry strategy
•diagrams to help illustrate concepts
•a new section on spiritual formation
The methods in this book are proven to work, having already helped many churches articulate their vision and implement their mission.
God can and does restore churches to new life, even as he restores individuals. The street-smart ideas and step-by-step instructions found in this book are ones that pastors and church leaders can put to use immediately in their churches to bring about solid growth and renewed hope for the future.
Based on ten years of scientific research, Growing God's Church shows pastors and church leaders how people are actually coming to faith in the 21st century. It covers factors such as our motive for ministry, the priorities churches set for themselves, the reality of churchless Christians, generational and gender-based differences in evangelism effectiveness, the name of your church, the influence of pastors, and much more. The appendix includes a copy of the survey that provides the basis for McIntosh's arguments and an overview of the study is provided in the first chapter.
The problem, says church marketing authority Richard Reising, is that most churches should not be doing promotion. Instead, they should focus on the preparation that will make members eager to invite others. In ChurchMarketing 101®, he demystifies basic marketing principles for the church, evaluates them against biblical principles, and illustrates how simple changes can remove roadblocks that hinder members from reaching out. Reising's simple yet insightful approach will be invaluable to pastors and ministry leaders from churches of all denominations and styles.
For over fifteen hundred years St. Benedict's Rule has been a source of guidance, support, inspiration, challenge, comfort and discomfort for men and women. It has helped both those living under monastic vows and those living outside the cloister in all the mess and muddle of ordinary, busy lives in the world. Esther de Waal's Seeking God serves as an introduction to this life-giving way and encourages people to discover for themselves the gift that St. Benedict can bring to individuals, to the Church, and to the world, now and in the years to come.
Through this definitive classic Esther de Waal has become known as an authority for the lay person on the Rule of St. Benedict. Her ability to communicate clearly the principal values of the Rule when applied to lay people is the ultimate strength of this book. She follows each chapter with a page or two of thoughts and prayers, contributing to its meditative quality.
Esther de Waal is an Anglican lay woman, married with four sons and a number of grandchildren. She lives on the Welsh Borders where she grew up and spends her time gardening, writing, traveling, and taking retreats. She became interested in Benedictine monasticism as a result of living for ten years in Canterbury and has written several books on the Rule of St. Benedict including a life-Giving Way, published by The Liturgical Press, 1995. She holds a PhD. from Cambridge and was given an honorary doctorate from St. John's University for her contribution to Benedictine studies and for her ecumenical work. She was awarded the Templeton Prize for having started the Benedictine Experience weeks which are now widely held throughout America and England.
What Every Pastor Should Know offers pastors and leaders 101 valuable rules and "sacred" laws to help answer real-life ministry questions. From advertising to facilities to visitation, this valuable book offers the practical help that leaders need, just when they need it most. This comprehensive guide will become one of the most valuable books in a leader's library. Never again will they wonder if they based critical decisions on the right information. They'll get the answers they're looking for all in one place.
Using biblical and current examples, the authors describe the characteristics of five types of leaders and the problems that are most likely to develop if their particular dysfunctions develop unrestrained. McIntosh and Rima offer a series of steps for leaders to consider so they can take control of their dark side and learn to harness its creative powers. This edition includes a new introduction, updated information throughout, a self-assessment tool, and other additional material. Includes endorsements from John Maxwell, Leighton Ford, Leith Anderson, and Rob Angel.
From the small beginnings of a few Christians in New Testament Jerusalem, the prayer of the Church spread, changing and evolving as it met and was assimilated by different cultures.
This classic study is a major resource for the liturgical scholar.
Building the Body offers pastors and church leaders twelve characteristics of fit churches and shows them how they can move their church through five levels of fitness, from beginner all the way to elite--just as an athlete, through training and practice, can become the top in his or her class. Includes comparison charts at the end of each chapter so readers can clearly see where their church currently falls and concluding "Complete the Progress Chart" so that they can see what their goals should be for the future.
Find answers to these questions regarding the release and shepherding of the fivefold minstry: Who are the modern-day apostles, and why does the church still need them? What are the marks of an authentic prophet, and how should we judge prophecy? How do you know if you're called to be an evangelist, and what's the most effective method for leading an unbeliever to Christ? Why are teachers so influential, and how do we discern false doctrine? What is the role of the pastor in the twenty-first century, and how is it changing? How do the five ministry gifts cooperate in thelocal church, and who's in charge when all five are active?God is building His body around the world in the most unexpected ways through the most unexpected people. Take a self-test to find out where your gifts lie and what area of ministry God may have custom-designed you for.
The Wounded Minister: Healing for Abused Clergy, written by a clinically trained pastoral counselor, examines the reality of evil in churches and the ways in which "pathological antagonists" emotionally and spiritually batter pastors. A deft mix of personal experience and in-depth research, this resource will help wounded men and women of all ministerial positions learn how to recover their broken hearts while rebuilding their lives. And as preventative medicine, it also provides guidelines on how spiritually sensitive Christians can develop a church structure that protects their pastors from this tragedy.
Both compassionate and proactive, this book is an excellent resource for hurting pastors as well as lay leadership pursuing healthy church life.
"There is a distinct weariness with market-driven, showbiz worship. The pendulum has swung to the longing for transcendence, substance, challenge, and biblically driven worship. Michael Horton shows us the way." --Robert Webber, president, Institute for Worship Studies; author of Ancient-Future Faith
"Horton's enlivening wisdom is surely a godsend to all evangelicals." --J. I. Packer, Regent College
The book tells the story of the Jesuits’ great successes as missionaries, educators, scientists, cartographers, polemicists, theologians, poets, patrons of the arts, and confessors to kings. It tells the story of their failures and of the calamity that struck them in 1773 when Pope Clement XIV suppressed them worldwide. It tells how a subsequent pope restored them to life and how they have fared to this day in virtually every country in the world. Along the way it introduces readers to key figures in Jesuit history, such as Matteo Ricci and Pedro Arrupe, and important Jesuit writings, such as the Spiritual Exercises.
Concise and compelling, The Jesuits is an accessible introduction for anyone interested in world or church history. In addition to the narrative, the book provides a timeline, a list of significant figures, photos of important figures and locations, recommendations for additional reading, and more.
Beginning not with early Israelite worship, but with creation itself, this work uncovers the glories and beauty of true worship as it is progressively revealed from its beginning in the Garden to its climax in the new heavens and new earth. Throughout the book, the focus is on the integral issue of who we worship . . . and why. Ross then applies these discoveries to the contemporary Christian practice and debate.
Recalling the Hope of Glory stands to become a definitive resource for the pastor, worship leader, and those training for the ministry. Regardless of their denomination, readers will appreciate the author's high view of Scripture and just how much it can and should inform Christian worship.
In Growing True Disciples, respected author and researcher George Barna helps pastors and leaders assess how their churches are doing in fulfilling their role as disciplemakers. And he reveals models and examples that will equip churches to dramatically increase their effectiveness. As a result, your church can begin to see more involved members who want to live out their faith in submission to God, and joyfully share their resources to fulfill Christ’s commission.
In Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, Marva Dawn writes to help local parishes and denominations think more thoroughly about worship and culture so that they can function effectively in contemporary society. She roots her discussion of worship issues in a careful assessment of significant aspects of the present technological, boomer, post-modern society and names criteria by which to judge the various cultural influences. She then sketches essential attributes of worship. Dawn recognizes that the vitality and faithfulness of our personal and corporate Christian lives and the effectiveness of our outreach to the world depend on the character that is formed in individuals and communities.
How can churches best reach out to society without dumbing down this essential character formation? Dawn discusses music, preaching, and all the accouterments of worship and offers practical suggestions for choosing the best tools and forms to deepen worship life, nurture faith development, and increase believers outreach throughout the universal church and to the world.
"The lessons were awesome! God knew I needed to be there. My heart overflows with joy."
"In your kitchen I learned about seasoning food. In your living room I reacquainted myself with the seasoning work of the Holy Spirit."
"The program gives value to women who are homemakers and wives. The Bible study and cooking lessons improved my perspective on staying home with children. . . . The program is a good eye-opener and refresher to what is really important: God, husband, children, family, and friends."
"So many positive things have happened in my life since, and because of, my Apples of Gold summer. Much confidence was gained that went far beyond the kitchen. . . . This was truly a life changing experience!"
"God knew I needed Apples of Gold. It is probably inconceivable to you to know how you and the mentors have touched the lives of Apples of Gold moms!"
"I loved being with older women, finding out how much we have in common, and building relationships with a different generation."
"Apples of Gold makes you focus on what is really important in your life. We discussed subjects I was not familiar with, like the real meaning of submission and purity. It certainly has changed the way I feel about them."
"Apples of Gold takes the warm atmosphere of the home and teaches how to extend it beyond the immediate family."
Gail Hover Ledbetter
Author, Family Fragrance