The Purpose-Driven Church: Every Church is Big in God's Eyes
This is the book, besides the Bilbe that a pastor needs at his desk everyday to get a Church growing and living again.
April 4, 2011
According to Warren, "If your church is healthy, growth will occur naturally." His main purpose for writing the book is to provide the necessary information to build healthy churches. Warren relates his thoughts in five sections: (1) "Seeing the Big Picture" (growing deeper through discipleship), (2) "Becoming a Purpose-Driven Church" (growing through ministry), (3) "Reaching Out to Your Community" (growing through evangelism), (4) "Bringing in a Crowd" (growing through worship and fellowship), and (5) "Building Up the Church" (growing through discipleship and ministry). Some of Warren's points seem obvious. For example, Warren states that a pastor "must be loving" towards people -believers and unbelievers alike (212), and that a church ought to have an "atmosphere of acceptance" (210).
Warren had many good suggestions for reaching the "unchurched." For instance, he recommends that churches place "newer translation" Bibles in pews and during the sermon announce the page number so as to not embarrass visitors (297). He also shares that sermons ought to be based on the "needs, hurts and interests as human beings" in order to have "common ground" with unbelievers (295). Though there are many helpful points to Warren's book, his emphasis seems to be on making the "unchurched" feel comfortable (257). He promotes "seeker sensitive" services without traditions, and expects sacrifice from church members in order to accommodate unbelievers. It appears the main focus of Warren's agenda is to bring in new converts. This is a worthy task; however, it would be interesting to see if "old members" view this as a personal form of neglect.
Warren claims, "Strong churches are not built on programs, personalities, or gimmicks," but his model for growing his own church falls into this realm (83). Maybe Warren's own notoriety is the reason for increases of number at Saddelback. It would be interesting to find out how many people leave after a certain amount of time and for what reasons.
December 23, 2010
This book was a great disappoint to me. I found that many of the scripture references were used out of context or the author used exegesis to come to a false assumption. Though there are some very good ideas to encourage free thought, there is no firm biblical foundation.
August 25, 2010
Any church that sees its congregation going gray and not growing as fast as the residential rate around it needs this book and supporting visuals. Using this book as a study guide has become one of the best group studies we have done to date.
June 10, 2010