It is unfortunate that this book reads as a cure-all for churches that have ailing memberships. While many of the things in here are valid, it is too cookie-cutter to work everywhere. The author clearly states that his ideas are guidelines, not rules, so I do not fault the author at all. However, the items listed in here are not for churches that are currently spirit-filled, non-demoninational churches. To follow the guidelines in here will water down what those churches are most likely already doing. If your church is part of a denomination and needs a shot in the arm, then this book will probably help you. There is entirely too much focus on increasing the NUMBERS of the church membership, rather than making sure those who attend feel like they are a part of church life. I've gone along with it all, and graduated the "bases". All I can say is "now what"? For church leadereship who do not truly have a plan in mind, this book will only take you so far. It does expect you to customize it for your own church. All in all, it has done more damage to our church than good, and I wish our pastor had never read the book at all. It has taken what life there was OUT of our church.
A "Must Read" book! Timeless principles explained in a timely way! I've used the principles in this book in military units as a Navy chaplain to reach single Marines, and in a military prison (where attendance is averaging over 100 out of 325 inmates). WARNING: Use the principles, but do not try to be a copycat (Rick Warren tells you this, too).
I pastor of a small baptist church and I highly recommend this book! It is a must for any pastor looking for solid advice on practical ministry in the real world. You can't get this in seminary--Thank you Rick!
Absolutely the best book written in the past 15 years - in any area of Christianity all together. Period. Rick Warren is solid Biblically, and yet he understands how to use the brain God gave us to use modern methods that are married to an uncompromising message in order to reach a modern society that is dis-interested with church.
As a pastor of a local church I believe this is the best book on Church that I have read. I does not deal with church growth gimics or fads - it deals with connecting everything we do in the church to the basic biblical purposes of the church. I am in the process of taking all our key lay leaders through a study of this book and how it connects to the scripture. I highly recommend reading this book to all pastors and serious church leaders.You may not agree with all of Rick methods - but the basic principles he details are very biblical!