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Breakout Churches: Discover How To Make The Leap Hardcover – January 9, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Several things struck me about the results of the research Rainer's team did. The churches that experienced phenomenal growth - not just adding new believers to its ranks in revival like fashion, but seeing these believers mature into stable godly Christians and functioning members of the body - they did so by being singularly focused on the fundamentals of NT Christianity. First of all, they did not grow over night. The average tenure of the pastors of the breakout churches was 21.6 yrs. vs. less than 4 yrs. for the average American pastor. Secondly, each church had to face a crisis within the church, overcoming obstacles from members who opposed the vision of the leadership. This often led to painful splits and left scars upon the pastoral leadership. The differences between these pastors and those found in comparable situations (note that research was done in comparison churches that experinced no growth but plateaued or were declining) was the "breakout" Pastors endured these difficult times, yet never lost their sense of God-called purpose to lead the church. In contrast, the comparison pastors sought to avoid conflict altogether or leave for greener pastures (which rarely turn out to be greener). Hats go off to these men who endured difficulties some times for years, yet did so with a determination to never give up but to trust God with their ministries.Read more ›
It is scary to confront your church with truth when you are failing. I've been there. Especially as the lead pastor, you have to point out that your church stinks in terms of accomplishing your mission, when guess who is the leader! However, that's what they need to know, and that's the only way to get things turned around.
Many thought-provoking and practical lessons in this book.
-Dennis McCallum, author Organic Disciplemaking: How to promote Christian leadership development through personal relationships, biblical discipleship, mentoring, and Christian community
"Great churches were, in our study, churches that had broken out of the mediocrity of losing as many people as they were reaching. They were churches that had become outwardly focused, more intentional about evangelism than before." (pg. 189) Rainer also used the comparison churches who were not categorized as breakout churches constantly to show the difference in principles and perspectives.
Even though the definition of breakout churches may be a bit narrow (e.g. that it has to be the same senior leader that leads the churches to breakout, meaning that if there is a change in the senior leader, it whould not be considered a breakout church), the principles apply the same. What is important in this research is describing some of the processes that senior leaders of stagnant and declining churches go through, what they realized and learnt from God and their circumstances, having a never-say-die spirit, and to forge ahead a dream that God had put in their hearts for a great church!
My reason for reading this book is that our family is intimately involved with our church and has been for many years. We feel that we are in that critical time when hard decisions have to be made and this book addresses the process and the pain that is involved in turning that decline around. Some churches will face the process and accept the pain involved, most will not and slowly continue to die.
This book is outstanding in its study of why few churches are able to overcome their static or declining congregation. They provide a solid research model, large sample size and strict criteria for the churches studied. Their use of three comparable churches for each "breakout" church identified offers a background against which they can determine differences between the two groups of churches.
Their conclusions are presented clearly and concisely, with the main conclusion so impactful that it alone was worth the price. That conclusion is that to be be successful, the focus of any particular church should be that area where the pastor's passion intersects with the congregation's giftings and the community's needs. If this criteria is not met, much time, effort and money is wasted that could be focused on the reason that God has brought that pastor and congregation together in that community.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the book make some great observations, on how many churches operate as well as giving solution to some of the issues,
a well put together book
Awesome book. Way better than I expected! Also, the book was in perfect condition.Published 13 months ago by David M. Hinsen
To provide help to declining churches by examining those churches that reversed their decline and experienced God working in their midst. Read more
For any church or church leader looking for help on how to take it to the next level, this is a must read.Published 15 months ago by Jay
This is a very helpful book in the pattern of Jim Collin's Good to Great.
This book has been very helpful along with Thom's new book, Simple Church, to help us develop a plan... Read more