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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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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.

 

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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: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.5 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: #167,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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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

1 of 1 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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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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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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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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United Methodist clergy couple John Flowers and Karen Vannoy outline the key ailments of declining congregations. They note that the church may be the only organization that doesn't exist to meet the needs of its members. "A church that succumbs to temptations, or becomes defined by the needs of its members, is a "needy" church. Needy churches are about as magnetic as needy people. A church that succumbs to temptation quickly loses its way and forgets its purpose. The needy church is an oxymoron and inevitably spirals into decline."

They vividly illustrate how some are drawn to small churches so that they in effect can become big ducks in tiny ponds, gaining control, getting attention, and having worship just the way they like it.

I agree with most of what these authors offer, especially the importance of focusing on the Great Commandment and Great Commission. Vital churches focus on following Christ and building disciples, not on meeting their members needs. However, one caution: different forms of worship enable different people to worship more authentically. I love a classical, formal, traditional worship with excellent music and a compelling sermon. Some find that form boring. I also love lively innovative worship with more contemporary music. Some find that offensive. I wouldn't find worship with a conservative rant against liberals to be worship at all. Some do. Just be aware of what music and forms reach the hearts of different people. Further, note that you can't generalize by age. A friend whose church features both fine contemporary and traditional worship commented that some twenty somethings are worshiping at the traditional service. They told him "we don't like our dad's music." Their dad liked the music of the 1970's and '80's.
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By Fred Baum on October 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Two chapters started great discussions and moved us forward in two areas of our church: staffing and preschool. These helped us do a self evaluation with some great suggestions for moving forward in both of these areas which we are currently doing. I highly recommend the book.
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