- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; Revised edition (April 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310270162
- ISBN-13: 978-0310270164
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 83 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church (The Leadership Network Innovation) Paperback – April 18, 2006
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From the Back Cover
This is the story of the birth and growth of Seattle's innovative Mars Hill Church, one of America's fastest growing churches located in one of America's toughest mission fields. It's also the story of the growth of a pastor, the mistakes he's made along the way, and God's grace and work in spite of those mistakes. Mark Driscoll's emerging, missional church took a rocky road from its start in a hot, upstairs youth room with gold shag carpet to its current weekly attendance of thousands. With engaging humor, humility, and candor, Driscoll shares the failures, frustrations, and just plain messiness of trying to build a church that is faithful to the gospel of Christ in a highly post-Christian culture. In the telling, he's not afraid to skewer some sacred cows of traditional, contemporary, and emerging churches. Each chapter discusses not only the hard lessons learned but also the principles and practices that worked and that can inform your church's ministry, no matter its present size. The book includes discussion questions and appendix resources. 'After reading a book like this, you can never go back to being an inwardly focused church without a mission. Even if you disagree with Mark about some of the things he says, you cannot help but be convicted to the inner core about what it means to have a heart for those who don't know Jesus.'---Dan Kimball, author, The Emerging Church '... will make you laugh, cry, and get mad ... school you, shape you, and mold you into the right kind of priorities to lead the church in today's messy world.'---Robert Webber, Northern Seminary
About the Author
Mark Driscoll is one of the 50 most influential pastors in America, and the founder of Mars Hill Church in Seattle (www.marshillchurch.org), the Paradox Theater, and the Acts 29 Network which has planted scores of churches. Mark is the author of The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out. He speaks extensively around the country, has lectured at a number of seminaries, and has had wide media exposure ranging from NPR’s All Things Considered to the 700 Club, and from Leadership Journal to Mother Jones magazine. He’s a staff religion writer for the Seattle Times. Along with his wife and children, Mark lives in Seattle.
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Top customer reviews
In Confessions of a Reformission Rev. Mark Driscoll opens up and is completely honest with readers as he recollects the triumphs and the abysmal mistakes he made in leading a small church of less than 50 to one of more than 4,000 in one of the most church-adverse environments in America.
Many of the things the author did were well intended but failed miserably or set the stage for larger headaches down the road. Driscoll gives you prescriptions on how to do better.
The book starts with “Ten Curious Questions” that simultaneously define what the purpose of the church is in Biblical terms, and clarifies how many contemporary church models diverge from this paradigm. In particular, reformission seeks to answer how Christians working through the church can effectively be missionaries to their local communities. This missionistic approach is a key differentiation point in Driscoll’s formula in how the church is supposed to look, act, and feel, and this organizing principle is the core ethos upon which the rest of his book is built. The chapters then proceed tracing the story from a start-up church of less than 45 people to a “megachurch” of a few thousand. Each chapter corresponds to a particular membership number of Driscoll’s church, and as the number of members increase, so do the challenges and the types of things leaders in the church have to deal with.
Although the author labels his congregation an “Emerging Missional Church,” the book builds atop solid Biblical principles that can be applied to any church or any denomination. Of note, Driscoll is frequently sarcastic and brutally honest throughout the text. He writes what he really thinks, and I think this sincerity adds to the book’s practical value. This no-holds-barred approach certainly will offend many but the underlying message remains solid.
Confessions of a Reformission Rev. is written like an autobiography and the stories and anecdotes keep it moving quite rapidly (I read it on one sitting). If you are in a leadership position in your church or desire to steer your congregation in a new direction, you will likely enjoy this book and appreciate its honestly and wisdom. A should-read for anyone who dreams of going out into the world and spreading the good news of Jesus to all those who will hear.
I have never seen so much raw authenticity and bluntness woven with practical helpfulness in a book before, but Mark Driscoll has accomplished it well. Confessions is all about how Mars Hill Church (Driscoll's church) came to be. Absolutely rife with hard lessons learned by Mr. Driscoll as the title suggests, I have never read a book like this before. It is simply hilarious and all the while encouraging for those wanting to pursue pastoral ministry (or those who are currently doing so).
Even the layout of the book is unique. Each chapter is organized by how many people were in attendance, and each chapter has a "Coaching Corner," a small box where Mark organizes a chunk of the chapter's most important information in a practical, easy-to-remember way. Gleaning insight comes naturally from this book, and reading some of Mark's situations and stories, like an aggressive phone call or a strange interaction with a homeless person, will undoubtedly come with laughter.
Some people have become offended at Mark's bluntness and sarcastic humor in the book before, but I would challenge any of those offended to say that Mark's center in the book was not Jesus. Concerns aside, this book was a joy to read. I read it in four sittings, and none of those didn't have smiles or appreciation for the valuable resources filled in the pages here. If you plan on going into pastoral ministry, you need to read this book. If you're not, reading this story will encourage you and help you see God's power in one man's life and the huge church on mission for Jesus.
This one's an all-time favorite in my book.
But humor aside, Driscoll has a handful of extremely important things to tell pastors (and church leadership in general). To being with, church is about Jesus. We can put on dazzling shows, mimic models working half-way around the States, or disband the whole thing in favor of house churches, but every adaptation needs to be about Jesus. Pastors and churches grow in the right ways when we preach Christ and him crucified every week no matter the topic or text. A church without carefully defined and followed theology is like a grocery store that only sells Hostess cupcakes. People will get a sugar high coming, but the crash is not far away and they certainly won't grow.
In addition, churches need to define or discover why they exist and move in that direction. As so many church leadership books tell us, that sometimes requires hard decisions. But as Driscoll reminds us, churches are guarded by shepherds that are supposed to tend for and protect the flock.
He also raises an issue I have discovered in my own journey as a pastor. It sounds simple on paper, and if you haven't struggled with this temptation you may not guess how powerful it is. Pastors and leaders need to be who Jesus called them to be and do the things Jesus called them to do. We make huge mistakes fitting into someone else's mold or trying to act and preach like the popular guy down the street. Churches sometimes put pressures on pastors to be and do certain things that will end up sapping them of vitality and ruin the church. Sometimes it is a cult of personality or a denomination, but the problem is the same - pastors give into other peoples' expectations at their own peril. We all know pastors and leaders end up with things in their portfolios they are not great at or need to learn to love, but, as a matter of priority and gifting, be who God called you to be.
I am not a huge fan of books on church leadership technique. That is probably why I liked this book. Instead of a heck of a lot of tips and tricks (there are a fair amount of details, pie charts and schematics), it is mostly about a set of lessons learned trying to do what God called a pastor to do.
Most recent customer reviews
Very thankful for his ministry