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10 Temptations of Church: Why Churches Decline and What To Do About It Paperback – April 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426745397
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426745393
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Vannoy and John Flowers both served in separate new church development projects before they joined forces in revitalization with Travis Park United Methodist Church in San Antonio, and most recently, First United Methodist Church in Phoenix. Karen began work as the District Superintendent of Tucson in the summer of 2012 while John continues church revitalization work, as well as mentoring pastors and congregations. You can contact them through ChurchForTomorrow.com.

 

Karen Vannoy and John Flowers both served in separate new church development projects before they joined forces in revitalization with Travis Park United Methodist Church in San Antonio and most recently, First United Methodist Church in Phoenix. Karen begins work as the District Superintendent of Tucson in the summer of 2012 while John continues church revitalization work, as well as mentoring pastors and congregations. You can contact them through churchfortomorrow.com.

 

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Yes, it is, in fact the entire Session will be reading it with eyes towards making our church a better one.
local church
I recommend this book be read by all the lay leaders, chair of church councils, concerned laypersons, and their pastors.
Jon M. Hearn
This book provides a very compelling, factual analysis of the reasons behind the decline of the old churches in America.
Ellen McCubbin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon M. Hearn on November 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is about change, that which many churches fear most. Be prepared when reading this book, you just might see your church and you might not like what you see. But don't give up, it not only describes problems of local churches, it also offers solutions. If the institutional church what's to be that body that brings people to God, it would do well to heed the admonitions called out. I recommend this book be read by all the lay leaders, chair of church councils, concerned laypersons, and their pastors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra F. Wright on February 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after listening to Dr Peter Steinke at a United Methodist clergy retreat. There are so many instances where my own congregations seem to "fit" the temptations within the church. Searching for ways to encourage growth in our faith journey can be scarey. Change does not occur with out overcoming obstacles, but it does happen to produce new, faith-building disciples. Take the risk and step out in faith knowing that doing God`s will is a step in the right direction! Excellent for clergy and laity facing church decline and negativity!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stella Burkhalter on August 23, 2014
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This book was a painful read. I kept saying "ouch" as I saw the mistakes my church has made on page after page. It was helpful to understand the "whys" and also to receive some "hows." The authors break down the temptations that lead us to destroy our churches and offer helpful and concrete advice on avoiding and addressing the issues.
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Format: Paperback
In the second book by Methodist pastors (and husband and wife) John Flowers and Karen Vannoy, they share what they believe are some pivotal reasons behind the "slow death" of many Protestant churches. One study cited shows that from 1965 to 1990 Protestantism lost as much as 1/3 of its membership. The decline continues, and while the political, cultural, and religious reasons for this decline are myriad, the authors focus on 10 distinct ways churches are "incentivized" for decline.

Flowers and Vannoy draw on their experience as pastors of downtown churches in two major cities, including San Antonio (full disclosure: they are my former pastors at Travis Park United Methodist Church). They offer a sober, if sometimes cursory assessment of how both pastoral and lay leaders operate in old, dysfunctional ways that must be changed for the greater church to survive.

The authors point out that the churches that exist solely for the sake of members vs. the greater community become needy and dysfunctional. Perpetuating this dysfunction and inevitable decline are issues such as ego and power (surprise!), stale music, burned out and ineffective staff and lay leaders, bad coffee, and pastors who are people-pleasers instead of bold visionaries (they cite a study showing that "out of all vocations, clergy had the highest need to be liked.")

Many churchgoers have heard (or uttered themselves) those seven words that keep a church maintaining an unhealthy status quo: "we've never done it that way before." There is one funny and telling story about the authors making the decision in one of their churches to move the pulpit 3 feet from the center of the chancel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ellen McCubbin on October 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book provides a very compelling, factual analysis of the reasons behind the decline of the old churches in America.
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Format: Paperback
By Phil Nonweiler, Church Member

Flowers and Vannoy blame members for the decline in churches. Whereas, there are many members who blame the clergy, and the remoteness of the connectional church for the decline. All three of these factions need to shoulder a modest amount of the blame. The real question that needs to be answered: Can the members, clergy and connectional church work together to meet the spiritual needs of a world that has been in the throes of a socio-economic revolution since the 1960s? If we can address this question with positive answers and action, the church will thrive again!
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By Carolina Dan on September 9, 2012
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"Ten Temptations" nails the problems which plague today's traditional church. Sadly, seasoned Christians need to rethink their commitment to the Great Commission and to the entire reasoning for the church's existence. The problems and possible solutions are clearly spelled out in the easy-to-read style which Flowers and Vannoy achieve with great skill. If you are worried about your future as a Christian, if you are worried about your church's future, if you are worried about this world's future, this book is a must read.
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