Author: Gary L. McIntosh
Publisher: Baker Books
Instead of relying on today's models of successful churches, follow the biblical pattern for building a vital and solid church on eternal foundations.
Author: Tim Suttle
Among followers of Jesus, great is often the enemy of good. 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.
Author: Gary L. McIntosh
Publisher: Baker Books
All local churches experience a predictable life cycle of growth and decline. But if a church is on a downward trend, how can it turn around? Taking Your Church to the Next Level explains the impact of age and size on churches and outlines the improvements that must be made at each point for a church to remain fruitful and faithful to its mission. McIntosh deftly describes the cycles of fruitfulness and the importance of continual improvement to diminish destructive forces that keep a congregation from its mission. Church leaders, pastors, and all who care about the church and desire to see it experience biblical growth will benefit from the sage wisdom offered in these pages.
Author: Brian Croft
Publisher: PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING
This is a call to intentional commitment to church revitalization in the face of dying and divided churches. Brian Croft looks at the strategy in the New Testament, especially Paul's missionary journeys and the principles involved - evangelism, disciple-making, church planting, deeds of love and mercy and developing Gospel leaders.
Author: Gary A. Parrett, S. Steve Kang
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Why does the church teach? And what should it teach? In recent years, traditional Sunday school and education programs have declined in influence and effectiveness. Education in the church is often sidelined by other competing priorities, and our efforts become haphazard and random. As a result, many Christians have not learned the fundamental doctrinal content of the faith. As a response, a growing number of church ministries have moved toward an emphasis on Christian spiritual formation. But churches must hold together education and formation, the teaching of the faith and the forming of the faithful. In this comprehensive text, Gary Parrett and Steve Kang attend to both the content and process of educational and formational ministries. They set forth a thoroughly biblical vision for intentional teaching of the Christian faith, with a holistic concern for what and whom is taught as well as how and why. Fully apprised of developments in educational theory and pedagogy, Parrett and Kang propose a core curriculum for recovering the full scope of Christian proclamation and reinvigorating the teaching ministry of the church. Their vision has implications not merely for catechesis, but for preaching, worship, children's and youth ministry, and much more. The body of Christ can become all that God intends it to be, through intentional practices that foster personal and corporate formation. Here is guidance for individuals and congregations on that journey.
Author: Bobby Jamieson
How do you feel about doctrine? Whatever answer comes to mind, this book will not only convince you that sound doctrine is vital for living a godly life, it will also explain the essential role of theology in the life of a healthy church. Thinking rightly about God affects everything, from guiding us in practical issues to growing a church’s unity and witness. This short, readable book shows how good theology leads to transformation, life, and joy. Part of the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series.
Author: Thom S. Rainer
We’ve read all the hot books on evangelism, we’ve attended scores of seminars—and still we’re not reaching the unchurched. Eighty to ninety percent of churchless Americans will never darken our culturally relevant, seeker-sensitive doors. What are we missing?Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong people. Instead of consulting the unchurched masses, it’s time we heard what the small but important minority who have recently begun attending a church have to say. What made the difference for them? What critical factors helped spark their faith in Jesus and drew them into the community of believers?Thom S. Rainer, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, shares the results and conclusions of his school’s groundbreaking survey of the formerly unchurched. At last, here are proven insights into what evangelistically effective churches are doing right. Flying in the face of much contemporary wisdom, the answers will surprise you.This is truly one of the most valuable resources you can own as a church leader. Filled with charts, graphs, and other visual aids, plus an abundance of true-life accounts, this book explodes common myths about the unchurched. You’ll discoverWhy pastors and doctrinal preaching are criticalThe enormous influence of family and relationships Which things matter more than we’d thought, and which matter lessWhat causes visitors to returnThe traits of unchurched-reaching leadersHow to preach effectively to the unchurchedHow to become a church for the unchurchedAnd much, much moreThis eye-opening compendium of information includes reproducible appendices that can help you fine-tune or even restructure your church. From one of the nations foremost authorities on evangelism and church growth, here are insights and tools that will change the way you think of and deal with--and win--unchurched men and women who long to connect with God.Photocopyable material includesUnchurched-Reaching Readiness InventoryChurch Health Survey
Author: Robert Morris
How can I help my church stay focused on its purpose? What would a culture of generosity look like for my church? What part does rest play in a healthy church? Whether you are a pastor, a volunteer, or a church member, you want your church to grow well. After all, there’s no better place to experience God than in the loving, healthy community of a church. But what does an effective church look like? Is it possible to grow and be healthy at the same time? Pastor Robert Morris has experienced firsthand the spiritual and relational excitement of a growing, dynamic church. In The Blessed Church, Pastor Morris brings you practical wisdom for cultivating real growth by nurturing true and Biblical health in your spiritual community. “In The Blessed Church Robert Morris reveals why Gateway Church in Dallas–Fort Worth has become not just one of the largest churches in America but also one of the most influential. Robert’s devoted, attentive shepherding of this great fl ock is one reason why Gateway is so‘blessed.’ In The Blessed Church the biblical principles that lead to true success in the body of Christ are carefully explained. If you love the local church, as both Robert and I do, you won’t want to miss the insights found in this helpful and practical book.” —Dr. Tony Evans, senior pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship; and president, The Urban Alternative “Our world desperately needs healthy, vibrant churches, so I’m so thankful Robert Morris has written The Blessed Church—a book that draws on the Gateway ‘back story’ to describe the qualities of a healthy local church. More than anything, a heart for God and a love of people define the ministry of Pastor Morris and Gateway Church. If you want a growing vitality in your church, you will profit from every page of The Blessed Church.” —Chris Hodges, senior pastor, Church of the Highlands “How has your church remained so healthy while growing so quickly?” Robert Morris gets this question a lot. In other words, people want to know: “What’s your secret?” In The Blessed Church: The Simple Secret to Growing the Church You Love, Pastor Robert Morris unfolds why Gateway Church in suburban Dallas–Fort Worth is one of America’s fastest-growing, spiritually enriching local churches—and still one of its healthiest. Written for both church leaders and lay people, The Blessed Church looks at the qualities that make church “work” in the twenty-first century and how that can enrich your church—whatever its size or vision. With the humor and powerful stories he’s known for, Morris shows how every component of your church—including mission, church government, teaching, worship, small groups, giving, and outreach—can receive God’s richest blessings. Rather than bemoaning the problems of the contemporary evangelical church, The Blessed Church celebrates the expanding role of the body of Christ in the lives of individuals—starting right where you and your church are today.
Author: Tod E. Bolsinger
Publisher: Brazos Press
Rediscover the triune nature of God to reawaken and nourish a communal spirit in our individualist times.
Author: Rick Warren
Every church is driven by something. Tradition, finances, programs, personalities, events, seekers, and even buildings can each be the controlling force in a church. But Rick Warren believers that in order for a church to be healthy if must become a purpose driven church by Jesus. Now the founding pastor of Saddleback Church shares a proven five-part strategy that will enable your church to grow. . .- Warmer through fellowship - Deeper through discipleship - Stronger through worship - Broader through ministry - Larger through evangelism. Discover the same practical insights and principles for growing a healthy church that Rick has taught in seminars to over 22,000 pastors and church leaders from sixty denominations and forty-two countries. The Purpose Driven Church® shifts the focus away from church building programs to emphasizing a people-building process. Warren says, "If you will concentrate on building people, God will build the church."
Author: Karl Vaters
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Do you lead a small church? 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 failures Come away inspired to lead with passion, regardless the size of their church Have field-tested principles for leading a church in their context Possess new metrics for biblically measuring vitality in small churches Have 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 churches Lead your church to fulfill the role only small churches can Understand your congregation’s strengths and weaknesses Turn around a dying or unhealthy church Identify good trends and bad in church and culture
Author: Kevin E. Lawson, Mick Boersma
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Supervising and Supporting Ministry Staff offers practical, research-based advice on successfully managing the senior–associate staff relationship. Filled with real-life stories from congregations of all sizes, the authors focus not only on the business mechanics of the supervisor/supervisee relationship but also on emotional and spiritual needs.
Author: Gary L. McIntosh, Phil Stevenson
Publisher: Baker Books
Just as a physically healthy person--at an ideal weight and with good blood pressure and cholesterol numbers--might not actually be fit enough to run a 5k, so churches can appear healthy--with no obvious issues, maintaining a healthy size--and yet not exhibit fitness. A fit church is one that is not satisfied with merely coasting along with no problems. A fit church is actively making disciples, maturing in faith, developing strong leaders, reaching out to the community, and more. 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.