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Every impulse to share the gospel and make disciples is a good impulse. But without a structure to organize our impulses and focus our vision, the great commission can drive us straight into burnout. Healthy church growth is measured not by full schedules or even packed seats but by a steady multiplication of disciples of Jesus.
In Guardrails: Six Principles for a Multiplying Church Pastor Alan Briggs demonstrates that this multiplication only happens when we organize ourselves around discipleship that is simple, holistic, adaptable, regular, reproducible, and positive. These six principles allow for sustainable growth in a church's mission, for the health of God's people and the sake of the world.
Number of Pages: 192
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 1.00 X 1.00 X 1.00 (inches)|
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Alan Briggs is the director of Frontline Church Planting, a network and equipping hub in Colorado. He is also the multiplying pastor at Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs, where he makes disciples and trains leaders to multiply. He carries a burden for people who have a will to minister but no structure to sustain them.
RLJ5 Stars Out Of 5A book about structure in the chaos of discipleship movements...October 18, 2016RLJQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Those familiar with church planting and missions probably have several books on their shelves about movements in church planting (CPM) and making disciples (DMM). However, I had not read a book that I felt capable of successfully communicating the principles of multiplication to the broader evangelical community. Alan Briggss Guardrails: Six Principles for a Multiplying Church may become the first to do so. Briggs is director of Frontline Church Planting and multiplying pastor at Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs.
Movements are somewhat controversial. Many assume that movements are out-of-control incubators of heresy where leaders are left ignorant of the Bible and its doctrines. I have another book about this subject on my shelf that I bought used. The previous owner filled it with the notes revealing that he approached the subject with skepticism at best and antagonism at worst. Through Guardrails, Briggs challenges those negative assumptions and shows that in reality, a movement benefits from a structure that keeps it on the right path of expanding Gods kingdom.
Briggs begins with the concept of chaordic: the idea that a movement is a combination of chaos and order. Providing order to the disciple making movements are six principles if what discipleship must be. It must be simple, holistic, adaptable, regular, reproducible, and positive. Missionaries and church planters will be familiar with many of these.What I Appreciated
What I Appreciated
Briggs focuses on principles and not methodology. Too many church planting and discipleship books focus on methods that work well only in certain contexts. Another debate common among those who make disciples is the balance between obedience based discipleship and information based discipleship. Briggs achieves balance by not emphasizing one and discounting the value of the other. Briggs sees discipleship with emphasis on both but is clear that formal discipleship that occurs in a classroom type setting must translate into practice. I also appreciated Briggs repeated statements that one must follow the Spirit in their context.
What I Wished Had Been
I wish Briggs had fleshed out the principles more, particularly by showing how they work in practice. Briggs avoided this for the sake of preventing the book becoming about methodology. However, I think he could have avoided it by giving a variety of examples from different settings showing that people apply them in diverse ways.
I highly recommend this book to church planters and church leaders. We are in need of Disciple Making Movement in our world today. This book provides guardrails guiding our path toward it.
(Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through Tyndale Blog Network. I was under no obligation to give a positive review.)