What a dissapointment when Thom Rainer's book arrived! I had grown to expect Thom's writing to be Scripture-based, insightful and challenging. When I read the book, I thought to myself that Thom must have had a deadline to write a book and he looked over at his bookshelf and got an idea--not a good one--to rewrite Collins' book in the acceptable palette of the non-discriminating church leader. I read Collins' book, Good to Great and I could find some application points that directly related to the church. I consult with churches in the processes of going from good to great--more often from dying to stable--and was hoping Thom's book would be a good resource. Indeed, Thom gave some good insight but with the inordinate amount of sola scriptura left out in favor of sola collinsa, it was like eating a good meal and then walking out on the bill.
This is a book I have waited years for. Being an obnoxious fan of Good to Great, I could not resist reading Dr. Rainer's book patterned on Jim Collin's book from several years ago. In short, it's utterly fantastic. I read it in under 24 hours -- I couldn't put it down. Now when I _think_ I know what we need to do, I can point to definitive data that can't be dismissed as "secular and not applicable." I'm a data junkie when it comes to making good decisions and Breakout Churches is all about depersonalizing the process so you can get past the opinions and get to the facts about what is important.If your church is like 80% of the churches out there and is stagnant in some way, take a does of this along with Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren (written before Purpose Driven Life). These two books will help you work with your church's leadership to reinvigorate a stagnant situation. The process can be done with current leadership, BUT only if the current leaders have their "ABC Moment." You'll have to read Breakout Churches to understand what that means. For me, it was easy to have an "ABC Moment" after reading Purpose Driven Church, but then knowing what to do about it is where Breakout Churches helps. My prayer is that this book will revitalize the other 80% of the American churches that are stagnant today so that the lost will find our Lord and be transformed by his grace. Blessings.