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Steve Murrell is the senior pastor of Victory Metro in Manila, Philippines; a director of the Real Life Foundation; and the cofounder and president of Every Nation, a worldwide family of churches and ministries. Victory Metro Manila meets in thirteen different locations and has planted churches in forty other Philippine cities and a dozen nations. Real Life Foundation is a social and educational advocacy organization that exists to serve the poor and improve their lives through educational assistance, character development, and community service. Steve and his wife, Deborah, first went to the Philippines in 1984 with Rice Broocks for a one-month summer mission trip that never ended. They live in Manila and have three sons. Steve is the author of The Reluctant Leader and The Accidental Missionary blogs. He is also a regular contributor to Evangelicals Today, a monthly Philippine publication, and his messages can be heard at the "Every Nation Podcasts" site.
Pastors tend to follow church growth fads. We are always on a lookout on what is new in church world. We get updates on churches that grew and try to follow the thing s they did. Unfortunately we end up with the same number.
Pastor Steve's book is not for pastors who are looking for fads to growth. It is clear through the experience of Victory that growth doesn't happen overnight. It takes deliberate effort to be focus on what God has called the church to do: HONOR GOD AND MAKE DISCIPLES.
Since the new Testament times, Jesus has instructed the church to make disciples. His last words was for us to go into the whole earth to make disciples.
Classic books like The Masterplan of Evangelism trumpets the same message. Seminary students reads it, pastors have access to the book but it seems few follow the biblical principles to church growth (quality and quantity)
Now this new book by Pastor Steve trumpets the SAME OLD MESSAGE - MAKE DISCIPLES. Every church planter, pastor (the established and the clueless) should get this book. Pastors planning to jump start a discipleship based church - this is a must read.
It chronicles the story of Pastor Steve's call to plant a church in the Philippines. The growth of the Victory Philippines as a movement and why it continues to grow. The book is easy to read, practical and engaging. As I read the book, I could imagine Pastor Steve as a coach for young pastors like me. He comes out of the pages of the book. It is like having coffee with the author without actually having coffee with him. The practicality of this book might let you scratch your head and say "Why am I not doing this?" numerous times.
The chapter that spoke volumes to me was about leading with the next generation.Read more ›
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The only thing I don't like about this book is that it wasn't published before I started doing ministry. :)
This is the most helpful book on ministry that I've ever read, and I believe every Christian leader (especially American Pastors) should read it.
Most American leaders are every bit as flawed as myself, and thus just as prone to leadership tactics that do more to complicate the growth of people, rather than promote simple, biblical strategies for making disicples.
This book is about the BASICS of leading people and making disciples. It is about simple discipleship. Yet, don't fool yourself: simple is not easy (as Steve says in the book). If you're anything like me, you've traded SIMPLE for a slew of ministries, meetings, and mayhem. "Simple" is difficult to protect, but essential for the healthy growth of disciples in Christ.
Every leader in my church reads this book as a part of our sacred collection of 3 books.
WikiChurch is directed at church leaders and anyone else who is interested in seeing their church grow. Author Steve Murrell, by his own admission, is the "accidental" pastor of a very large church in the Philippines. His writing style is easygoing and easy to understand. His background in both Presbyterian and Charismatic churches is evident, but does not overwhelm the content, nor is his doctrine the focus of the book.
For those who have read numerous books on church growth and discipleship, many of the concepts he discusses will be familiar. His perspective is refreshing since he pastors a church of 52,000 but is approachable and from all appearances a very humble and down-to-earth man.
For those seeking a recipe to quick success, keep looking. This book wisely advocates the reader to evaluate the cultural setting of their church and geographical location. Principals abound, with encouragement to keep one eye firmly fixed on how Jesus would have the reader minister where He put him or her. Murrell reminds that it took two years to see results with the initial work they did in Manila.
The theme of the book is "make disciples and the church will grow." Discipleship begins with you; if your spiritual life isn't right, don't expect to be effective in making disciples. The focus should be on God and others, not yourself. Jesus promised to build the church, and gave us the job of disciplemaking.
While he argues against too much control and explains the dangers inherent in over structuring, he does recognize the need for system. He says "for ordinary people to do extraordinary things, a system - 'way of doing things' - us absolutely essential."
The Kindle version has a few errors in it, whether due to formatting or the publisher, is unknown.Read more ›
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Our church culture has a tendency to focus on programs over relationships. Pastor Murrell encourages us to focus more on building relationships in order to make disciples rather than Christian programs. I especially appreciated his ranking of the four ways to measure how your church is doing: Discipleship group attendance, attendance at their discipleship weekend event, attendance at their discipleship training events, and then, after all that, attendance at their weekend events. There were several other important things I read, but the most important was the challenge to make disciples - not just church attenders, but followers of Jesus who are endeavoring to make more followers of Jesus, who are also making... well, you get the idea.
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