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The Gospel-Driven Church: Uniting Church Growth Dreams with the Metrics of Grace Kindle Edition
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Many evangelical churches face the problem of the open "back door"--even as new people arrive, older members are leaving, looking for something else. Combined with this problem is the discipleship deficit, the difficult truth that most evangelicals are not reaching the unchurched at the rates they think they are. In fact, many of the metrics that we often "count" in the church to highlight success really don't tell us the full story of a church's spiritual state. Things like attendance, decisions, dollars, and experiences can tell us something about a church, but not everything.
To cultivate a spiritually healthy church we need a shift in our metrics--a "grace-shift" that prioritizes the work of God in the lives of people over numbers and dollars. Are people growing in their esteem for Jesus? Is there a dogged devotion to the Bible as the ultimate authority for life? Is there a growing interest in theology and doctrine? A discernible spirit of repentance? And perhaps most importantly, is there evident love for God and for our neighbors in the congregation?
Leading a church culture to shift from numerical success to the metrics of grace can be costly, but leaders who have conviction, courage, and commitment can lead while avoiding some of the landmines that often destroy churches. Wilson includes diagnostic questions that will help leaders measure--and lead team transparency in measuring as a group--the relative spiritual health of their church, as well as a practical prescriptive plan for implementing this metric-measuring strategy without becoming legalistic.
Most attractional church models can lean heavily on making changes to the weekend worship gatherings. And while some of these changes can be good, thriving grace-focused churches are driven by a commitment to the gospel, allowing the gospel to inform and shape the worship service and the various ministries of the church.
About the Author
Jared C. Wilson is the director of content strategy at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, and managing editor of the seminary's website for gospel-centered resources, For the Church. He is a popular author and conference speaker, and also blogs regularly at the Gospel Coalition.
J.D. Greear is pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. The Summit Church has been ranked by Outreach Magazine as one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States for the last several years in a row. J.D. has a PhD in systematic theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved; Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary; and Jesus Continued...:Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, Veronica, and their four children.
Steve Lyon lives with his wife, writer George Ella Lyon, and their two sons in Lexington, Kentucky, where he composes, performs, and produces music. The Gift Moves is his first novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B07FG1QTP3
- Publisher : Zondervan (March 12 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 975 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 237 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #373,602 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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And being faithful to the call of Christ
This may also be Jared's most well-written book. Jared is a fantastic writer no matter the subject. And in this book his gift really shines. While the book is laid out by subject that is typical of most church ministry books, a story of the fictional LifePoint church is interwoven throughout each chapter. The story really makes the topics discussed in each chapter come to life while not making me cringe for seeming phony.
I don't agree with everything in the book. My journey has taken me from the attractional church world to the missional gospel-centered church world to now the more confessional Reformed church world (I'm still Baptist though). Therefore, I'm not as convinced as Jared when he starts getting into missional church language or even his use of Johnathan Edwards' works when it comes to measuring church health. But I get where he's coming from and agree with 90% of what he says. And I find it all very helpful when thinking about how we do church.
I commend this book to anyone at any level of church ministry.
Split into a fictional dialogue between a disillusioned seeker-sensitive pastor and his staff and a more traditional, how-to format, the book is accessible for people like me who don't tend to finish Christian living books. I read the first few chapters and move on (with apologies to all my favorite Christian authors). So a little liveliness goes a long way in this genre for me, and Wilson's tone and style in both formats here are a breeze to read and understand.
It seems to me this book was written with practicality in mind. Yes, yes, we all know the attractional church method is bunk---but how do we pull our churches out of that mindset? I pastored a church for several years that was struggling with this very question, and it's almost funny how well Wilson's fictional bits nail the actual conversations that go on in that kind of a situation. He poses important questions and offers practical steps, rather than just dunking on the Osteens, Stanleys, and Hybels of the world without holding forth some kind of alternative.
I guess the big takeaway from this book is yes, moving away from man-centered ecclesiology to God-centered is going to be awkward, difficult, and costly, but it's also going to be worth it.