Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Growing God's Church by Gary McIntosh

Growing God's church is the culmination of a 10 year research project to see how people were coming to Christ in an effort to update, correct and re-validate older research. Overall I found the information very interesting and informative but did feel the book may have been longer than needed. After laying out the background and methodology for the study, McIntosh spends the first half of the book re-framing the Great Commission for the Church today. It would be good for those who perhaps need a good reminder of what the church is to be. Overall the first part was something that one would expect to find in any decent book about the mission and purpose of the church. It was well written and the questions at the end of every chapter were helpful but overall I wouldn't say there was anything really new this first part.

The second part of the book however is where McIntosh begins to delve into the findings of his study. Each chapter has a short little fictional narrative introducing us to the topic followed by lots of stats and charts and wrapping up with a conclusion and some questions to help you think though your own context.

The research he presents is interesting and helpful. A few of the points that I took particular note of were 1) the increased role of pastors in leading people to faith (though family/friends were still the #1 way) 2) when people are seeking they won't travel too far to find a church and 3) a churches name had virtually no impact on people who were seeking. I take this to mean as churches we should be focusing on a defined area and building a good reputation in our area and be ready to welcome and engage those who come through our doors.

I would recommend this as a good read if you feel you need a good refocusing of what the church should be doing. If you are simply interested in the changing trends of how people are coming to Christ the latter half of the book could mostly stand on its own.

(I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own)

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