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5 Stars Out Of 5
Can you handle the question?
December 5, 2011
Stetzer and Putman have broght forward a highly necessary contribution to the missional conversation. There is some time spent offering a general definition of the "missional" model but specifically the writing focus is on becoming a ministry that actually reaches the people in their community. The recent history of the church growth and church health movements are covered in an even-handed manner presenting both high and low points. Some of the issues dealt with are sore issues among evangelicals and will cause strong reactions on both sides without doubt. There is a fine line here regarding the emergent models that Stetzer refuses to cross. Bravo! One of the few books available that doesn't get sucked into the emergent debate or fall into the trap of advocating a specific model. Clearly his goal is to assist church leaders in how they can become more effective missionaries in their communities. Having read all of Stetzer's works I consider this the most vital as it constanly points the reader to the Scripture rather than to another survey or model.
Breaking The Missional Code is a balanced perspective on building a biblical church ministry and is must-reading for anyone striving to reach their communities for Christ while at the same time struggling to understand where they may be going wrong. It will also be helpful for those who are suspicious of contemporary church models and fear they are all watering down the faith or discarding critical doctrines. It is an important book that seeks to reach beyond our tendencies to expect everyone to do ministry the way one person or group thinks it should be done. With recommendations from such diverse leaders as Rick Warren, Dan Kimball, and Mark Driscoll, the authors have surveyed the landscape of evangelical America and pulled together biblical and missional components from both contemporary and traditional models of various denominations and geographies. And they demonstrate that reaching people for Christ doesnt have to be devoid of either sound theology or contemporary applications. Those who have done ministry by the Purpose Driven book or the Willow Creek book and failed will find encouragement in Stetzer and Putmans exhortations to do ministry by The Book, not by following fads and trends or by implementing church models that reach specific demographics in Barrington, Illinois, or Orange County, California, but by digging deeper into the community to determine the unique cultural obstacles in their respective communities and then communicating the gospel in a way that doesnt create non-biblical barriers to people receiving and understanding the gospel.