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High Expectations: The Remarkable Secret for Keeping People in Your Church Paperback – February 15, 1999


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High Expectations: The Remarkable Secret for Keeping People in Your Church + I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference + Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books (February 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805412662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805412666
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thom S. Rainer (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Transformational Church, Essential Church, and Simple Church.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Marc Axelrod VINE VOICE on August 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is basically an explanation of a survey done on 287 southern Baptist churches. The main secret to keeping people in your church is to assimilate them into the Sunday School program. The author spares no words to describe the importance of having an evangelistic Sunday School program. He points out that churches have often seen Sunday school as a discipleship or educational program, but that we need to learn from these SBC churches that long term health and growth are best secured by giving the Sunday school department a revamped, evangelistic thrust. The survey results also suggest that if you communicate that Sunday school attendance is expected of all new members, then you will have a greater chance of keeping them active once they are assimilated into a class.
But it should be kept in mind that every church culture is different. Pastoring a church where Sunday school is an available option is nice. But to make it an expectation of all members can risk the ire of some of the long standing members of the congregation. In short, some of the suggestions the author makes will be easier to assimilate into your church than others. You have to know your people and have a sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying, and a sense of what will and will not fly in your parish.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Seminary Sage on July 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
High Expectations is a great resource for those seeking to understand the dynamics of evangelistic growth and effective discipleship. The many graphs and charts provide a visual checklist of the characteristics of high assimilation congregations. The book is more of a companion to "Effective Evangelistic Churches" rather than a stand-alone resource. At times Rainer jumps to conclusions that are out of character, such as "Mission Statements are more important than vision statements"... which is based upon research showing high assimilation churches tend to have mission statements (64.3%) rather than vision statements (42.9%).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on July 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rainer here addresses the problem all too often found in American churches: losses through the "back door." Many books can be found on how to attract newcomers to a congregation, but what is the key to keeping them? The author answers this question with solid research and Biblical values. In a nutshell, Rainer's research reveals that the secret to keeping members is expecting more of them. Other insights from his research are presented here as well, but the focus of the book is powerful effect of "raising the bar." This title is a keeper for my pastoral library.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're involved in church leadership, either on staff or on a board, you owe it to yourself to read this book. There are many books out there based on opinion or the experience of one church--often a mega-church--and that's fine. But the detail and research behind this book make it unique and remarkable because it applies to every church of any size anywhere in the world. It's not the only book you'll use to develop a leadership strategy, but it may save you ten years of trial and error and hundreds of hours of meetings. Buy it for yourself, read it, and then get copies for everyone in leadership. I did.
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