Growing God's Church: How People Are Actually Coming to Faith Today
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Growing God's Church: How People Are Actually Coming to Faith Today

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Product Description

How are seekers coming to Christ today? What influences their choice to attend a specific church? What's the pastor's role in evangelism? Drawing on 10 years of research, Gary McIntosh addresses motives for ministry, priorities, the reality of churchless Christians, generational and gender-based differences, and other topics to help you develop your own outreach programs.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801016452
ISBN-13: 9780801016455

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Publisher's Description

It's no secret that the evangelism methods of yesterday are not yielding the kinds of results they did in the 1970s and 1980s. So how are new Christians hearing the Gospel today? How are they finding churches? And what makes them stay at a church? The answers to these questions have the power to dramatically alter the way we do outreach. And Dr. McIntosh has them.

Based on ten years of scientific research, Growing God's Church shows pastors and church leaders how people are actually coming to faith in the 21st century. It covers factors such as our motive for ministry, the priorities churches set for themselves, the reality of churchless Christians, generational and gender-based differences in evangelism effectiveness, the name of your church, the influence of pastors, and much more. The appendix includes a copy of the survey that provides the basis for McIntosh's arguments and an overview of the study is provided in the first chapter.

Author Bio

Gary L. McIntosh (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is president of the Church Growth Network and professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology. He is an internationally known speaker and church consultant who has written twenty-four books, including Biblical Church Growth, Beyond the First Visit, and What Every Pastor Should Know. He lives in California.

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Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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  1. cici
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Coming to Faith
    January 31, 2016
    cici
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    If there were to ever be a book that needs to be read it has to be Growing God's Church by Gary L. McIntosh for all of its detailed research. He has devoted so much of his time to stating the reasons how people come to faith in our time. A full decade of research and studies have culminated in linking the factors that have brought people to church. It reads easily and rapidly with many points and proven statements and thoughts. The premise of McIntosh's statement is that people are coming to church by way of family and friends. Time has changed many aspects of church visitors and I believe it shows that the family dynamics affect life more than we know. His statics also show that there are several factors in people choosing their church like size, environment, and sermon style. This is one of the most informative books on church goers I have every had the pleasure of reading. I received a copy for this review from Baker Books and all opinions are my own.
  2. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good for church boards
    January 29, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    McIntosh has noted that, while churches are becoming more missional, they are also becoming less evangelistic in their practice. He's concerned.

    He's written this book to help leaders understand how people are coming to faith today. Decades ago people were getting saved at revivals. That's no longer happening. The statistics from that era just do not apply any more. McIntosh did his own research to get current data. He has evaluated the data in light of the concepts of missional and coming to Christ.

    He has found that friends and relatives are the major avenue of people coming to Christ. The influence of family members is huge. He also looked at why people attend a particular church and what keeps them there. The quality and relevance of the pastor's preaching plays a huge role in those areas. With so many churches changing their names, taking away denominational references, I was surprised to find out that the name of the church is not a major factor in people considering a church.

    This would be a great book for church leaders as they contemplate the concept of mission and how it directs, or at least affects, their church. They will also find great insights into ways to be evangelistic in their community. The last section of the book contains many practical ideas for reaching out and inviting those in the community to meet Jesus. McIntosh has also included probing questions at the end of some chapters, and down-to-earth ideas at the end of other chapters, so this would be a good book to study and discuss around the church board.

    I like McIntosh's use of Matthew's dinner, with invited friends, as a metaphor for engaging family, friends, and associates with the gospel of salvation. Rather than the revival preacher, it is now the friend or relative across the table who is the one influencing people for Christ.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  3. Alison
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good theological review & research on evangelism.
    January 21, 2016
    Alison
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Why I picked it up:

    I see how our culture interacts with Christianity shifting. I know tried methods of evangelism dont work the way they did in the past. I was interested in what the author had to offer about how people are coming to faith today. I wanted to learn.

    Why I liked it:

    This book was a convicting read. Talking about evangelism and church feels messy and loaded. The author has conducted his own research on what brings people to faith today. He starts with a theological conversation about evangelism before sharing his research and practical application ideas. Ive often struggled with how to present the gospel in a way that is genuine, not a memorized script. As someone who has always scored low in evangelism on any spiritual gifts test, this book provided some helpful reminders. The most effective tool is a conversation. Knowing how to tell my own story and how to listen to someone else is better than any technique or script.

    The gospel message requires a verdict. One either rejects Jesus or believes in him; there is no middle ground.

    Our priority to proclaim the gospel of salvation to all the nation does not mean we should ignore serving our communities or mankind. Service without proclamation and proclamation without service are both futile. It is the gospel preached and lived that impacts humanity and society with power. Both need to be preserved, and the church must practice both. What makes the church unique is not its good deeds but its message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

    Whatever means we use to proclaim, whether it is presence, proclamation or persuasion, the expectation is that, when we invite people to become Christs followers, our hearers must make a decision for or against Christ. We are called to a role of active proclamation of the gospel-a a proclamation with an invitation to accept or reject Jesus Christ. With this understanding, there is no such thing as a silent witness. We must use words. Modeling a good Christian lifestyle is just the foundation. No one ever came to Christ without some sort of proclamation and persuasion.

    I found this book to be a little dry in places, and the intended audience feels directed for those in church leadership, while still accessible for any Christian. But the call to a lifestyle of words and works is a needed one. 3.5/5 for me.

    *Baker Books have provided me with a complimentary copy of Growing Gods Church, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
  4. Clay
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Growing God's Church
    January 18, 2016
    Clay
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The suggestions at the end of each chapter in the second section and the chapter on principles in the last section provide a host of ideas for individuals and churches to advance their evangelistic outreach. Those suggestions are worth the price of the read although they are not necessarily new ideas but rather a good compilation and review.
  5. GiniB
    Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Growing Gods Church: How People Are Actually Coming to Faith Today
    January 13, 2016
    GiniB
    Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    After so many church growth books have been written, marketed, read, and whatever becomes of such material afterward, this book contains some information that reveals some of the results of a research project that measured what might be considered as the outcome of all the advice presented in the church growth books. Thats the way I read it. What really is working with whom is the gist of McIntoshs results.

    Fear not, this does not read like a statistical report or a doctoral thesis. He insured the results remained accessible to most readers. Part 1 explores the biblical version of what church is and does along with some discussion of the current versions found in todays culture, mostly Western culture. I found it thorough and hard to argue against even if I didnt agree with some of what he had to say.

    Part 2 reveals the results of his research work, bar graphs for those that want the information immediately and in discussion form for those with a bit more patience. McIntosh looked at the results from the standpoint of gender, generational age, region, person most influential in choices made by the respondents related to faith, church attendance, and several other pertinent areas. For those working within the church setting some of the information may be surprising and other information validation of what had been obvious, but pushed aside for a time.

    Part 3 covers suggestions for evaluation and/or change that the author felt could be helpful. I will not spoil the book for you. Instead, I will let you pick a copy and read it for yourself. Do not start at the end. The end is the conclusion of the prior work presented and needs to considered in light of that.

    I do recommend this book. The research tool used has been included in the appendix for those that want to see the questionnaire and he included his research procedure for distilling the results in the early narrative portion of the book.

    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.
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