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Some churches grow rapidly, only to hit a ceiling. Other churches have experienced declining or static attendance--many of them for decades. Frustrated pastors and church leaders want growth methods that work, but without adding to pastoral fatigue.
How to Break Growth Barriers argues that growth comes when effective leadership and lay-empowerment skills work hand in hand. This requires a shift of focus from the shepherd as the primary caregiver to shepherd as developer and coach of many caregivers. The authors show pastors how to communicate a vision for the future and then how to lead the congregation into the paradigms necessary for potentially limitless growth.
The strategies found in this book are not only tried and true, and taken from a biblical perspective of a "harvest" vision. They're also newly updated to reflect our changing culture, including helpful charts and checklists for self-evaluation.
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
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Warren Bird is research director for Leadership Network, the nation's leading catalyst for helping innovative church leaders move from ideas to impact. An ordained minister, he teaches at Alliance Theological Seminary. He is also author or coauthor of twenty-eight books, including Next: Pastoral Succession That Works. He and his wife, Michelle, live in a suburb of New York City.
muffinHonea Path, SCAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent ResourceJune 1, 2017muffinHonea Path, SCAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"How to Break Growth Barriers" by Carl F. George and Warren Bird is a wonderful resource for church leaders and those interested in church growth. Many churches reach a certain number and then stop. Sometimes it is hard to push past those numbers and keep growing. In this book, the authors show how pastors need to change their way of thinking from being the shepherd as sole caregiver to shepherd as developer and coach of many caregivers. This book shows you how to share this vision to your staff and congregation. These methods are ones that have been tried and worked. They are also biblically based methods. Included are some charts and checklists for self evaluation. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to see their church grow and thrive.
I received this book from Baker Books for my honest opinion.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Time tested principles of church growthApril 23, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5The authors report that eighty-five percent of churches in the U.S. have fewer than 200 members. There are some growing churches, some stable churches, and many dying churches. This book helps us understand why.
George and Bird have updated the book that originally came out in 1993. The principles of church growth included are ones they have seen work for decades. Those core ideas remain the same.
I like the book. I like the idea of a team approach, training leaders, empowering them, trusting the Holy Spirit to enable lay people to do the work of ministry. I like the emphasis on the necessity of prayer. I like their reminding us of the need for small groups or cells. I like that the authors say church growth is more a matter of the heart than a certain technique.
It came as no surprise that the attitude of the pastor is the major determining factor for growth. The days of the pastor doing all the care should be long over. There should be a change of paradigm in church leadership. But it may be terrifying for a pastor to relinquish the ministry most pastors traditionally do themselves. Change first has to happen in ministers, the authors argue. They set the stage for permitting growth or hindering it. Ministry coaching, developing a team of care giving individuals is key.
The authors have done a great job presenting a book containing many practical ideas. Church leaders can evaluate their church structure, vision and leadership style. They receive instruction on evaluating motives, developing a vision for growth, and training lay ministry leaders and workers. Questions for further thought have been included at the end of each chapter so this book could be used for study by a church board or other leadership group.
I recommend this book to those who truly believe there is a potential spiritual harvest in store for their church. You'll find out what is hindering growth. You'll also find out how to implement the heart attitudes and behaviors necessary to break growth barriers. Ministers, you'll need to step aside and let lay people be used of God but the spiritual rewards will be worth it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
wheelsmsChicopee, MAAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5What got you here wont get you thereApril 3, 2017wheelsmsChicopee, MAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Does your church want to grow? Are you willing to change your style of leadership in order to facilitate growth? Are you willing to adjust your role in order to help the church grow? These are the three essential questions dealt with in How to Break Growth Barriers: Revise your role, Release your people, and Capture overlooked opportunities for your church, by Carl F. George and Warren Bird. The book was originally written in 1993 and is now revised and rereleased in 2017.
The authors divide the book into three parts which focus on their essential questions. Part one focuses on the subject of vision. Does your church want to grow? What kind of vision are you casting as a leader? How can you grow and expand your vision? Part two tackles the issue of redefining your role as a leader. As a church grows, a pastor must be willing to hand off some of his ministry responsibilities to others. The pastor must go from doing everything to training and equipping others to share in the ministry. Part three addresses the questions of how to break specific growth barriers200, 400, 800, and care barriers.
The book assumes that a pastor and church want to grow. It doesnt address the biblical basis of growth or stress the importance of evangelism and discipleship in order to fulfill the great commission. Rather than convince church leaders of the need to grow, the authors focus more on the pragmatic issues of how to produce growth and change.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.