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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ROSS PARSLEY is Lead Pastor of ONE Chapel, a new church in Austin, Texas. He is also a renowned worship leader. In 2007 Ross helped to guide the church family at New Life Church in Colorado Springs through a major transition as the Interim Senior Pastor. Ross and Aimee have five children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434799379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434799371
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Our picture of who we are as the church is woefully inadequate and tragically short-sighted; we are not learning enough from each other; we are not connecting generationally, and we are not birthing new family members; most tragically, we are not making enough disciples to make a dent in our current culture; we are sneezing into the wind, according to Ross Parsley in this book.

Many would agree with the diagnosis; but not everyone would agree about the appropriate cure. In Ross's view, the church needs to be less like an organised religion or an efficiently structured corporation and more like a big messy extended family. Families, he says, are perfectly designed for discipleship: constant access, consistent modelling, demonstration, teaching and training, conflict management and resolution, failure, follow-up and feedback, all in an atmosphere of love.
Separating the church into different age groups at worship time is like separating the family into different groups at meal time. Instead, we should be aiming for a multi-generational church service model, which is "rooted in history while leaving room for the mystery of the Holy Spirit among us." A model involving creeds, confession, communion, canon and connection is given in Appendix 1 of the book.

It is interesting to read Ross Parsley's book after reading Glenn Packiam's book Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith. Both were worship pastors at New Life Church in Colorado Springs at the time of senior pastor Ted Haggard's public fall from grace and at the time of the shooting at the church, and they have had their views of church affected in different ways.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charles on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pastor Ross shares great insight about how God wants His church to be a family and not just an organization full of processes and systems. But a family that cares for each other in the good times and the bad no matter how messy it gets. I love how Ross uses personal illustrations from his life and applies them to this bibical truth. We all could learn from the fact the we don't stop being family just because things get messy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BattleBornNV on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Family dinner is a mess, especially when you have a baby at home. Family breakfast is just the same... it's messy. Mom and Dad eat as quickly as possible to then hold the baby so the other one can finish. It's not about how enjoyable the food is but how easy it is to clean up with one hand in the sink and one around a 4 month old baby.

That's the way Ross Parsley says we should treat the church. Like a messy family. My church is very similar to this. They encourage young people to mesh with `older' people. My community group is just that... a community. Older, young, babies and dogs... we have it all. With that in mind, the book helps the reader to understand that a church must look and feel like a family but that with a family there are a lot of messy things that must be dealt with. Jesus is central to this book (as it should be) and I am glad that Parsley recognizes that. Jesus should and is at the center of our lives first!

This book really hits the points as to why having a family is important. Life is lived with family, not with just your peers. You have moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends.

I liked this book, but do have a few notes for improvement: gather thoughts, tell whatever specific story you want once (it felt like some of the same stories were repeated more than once), and keep telling your personal story (makes it feel more authentic). Overall I would recommend this book to everyone and I truly did enjoy it.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes by David C Cook Publishing. I was not required to post a positive review and the views expressed in this review are my own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chad Stafford on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great read with terrific practical advice for anyone in church ministry who wants a different perspective on church leadership, growth, and health. Parsley offers a refreshing alternative to the loveless corporate styled leadership we often see modeled within the modern church today. Biblically based while also drawing from personal pain and valued ministry experience, Messy Church cogently argues the primary importance of loving, protecting, and caring for one another within the Body of Christ while specifically emphasizing a relational or family oriented paradigm of church ministry rarely discussed, modeled, or seen in churches today. I highly recommend this fresh "outside the box" read for any pastor, church leader, elder, worship leader, or church planter who is weary of the corporate ministry model and ready for a real change in how they do ministry. Messy Church provides both the inspiration and guidance for a fundamentally Christian way of "doing church" based upon loving relationships!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Haas on August 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Ross is a man with a great heart for worship. This book is an excellent discussion on the importance of making worship services that appeal to multiple generations instead of just one. HIs proven track record has given him the experience to know what works and what doesn't. I would recommend this book to any church leader who is struggling to integrate younger adults into the church community.
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