How are we doing? The church, that is. And how are we doing it? Congregations have long measured success by "bodies, budget, and buildings"--a certain record of attendance, the offering plate, and square footage. But the scorecard can't stop there. When it does, the deeper emphasis on accountability, discipleship, and spiritual maturity is lost. Ignoring those details, we see fewer lives transformed, Christian influence wane, and churches thin out--a situation that is all too familiar across North America today.
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
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Reviews for Transformational Church
Let’s see, I have read: Comeback Churches, Planting Missional Churches, Simple Church, Breakout Churches and…. no, I think that’s it. I have read a lot of books by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer. This new book, Transformational Church “creating a new scorecard for congregations” feels more like the duo’s “latest album” than it does a brand new book.Right off, let me say that I liked it, it was a good read – but in a lot of ways it seemed to take the same approach Comeback Churches did. As researchers they set perimeters and then had churches qualify based on those. Next they sent them a questionnaire and compiled the research. A Transformational Church was one that grew by 10% in five years; and had a significant number of those attending involved in some type of ‘small group’ activity. Of those churches that responded the authors concluded that there were 7 key areas of focus (and you probably already know what they are):1. Mission2. Leadership3. Relation4. Prayer5. Worship6. Community7. EvangelismNow, of course I have simplified it, and the book goes into much greater detail as to how those keys play out, but that is pretty much the gist of it. All in all I read through the book pretty fast. I nodded in agreement to much of it, but didn’t really underline anything. I would say, if you have books by these guys, you might not need to pick this up (unless you just have to subdue your new book fix, in which case I understand), but if you have not read any of their books this is certainly the one to pick up.I think the resources that come out of this study and the church diagnostic tool, the retreats and curriculum will be more of a benefit in the long run for churches, and so I will certainly watch with interest how those pan out in the coming months.read more
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