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The Incredible Shrinking Church Paperback – March 1, 2008
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About the Author
John Perry has coauthored books with John MacArthus, Richard Land, Mike Huckabee and others. He is a two-time Gold Medallion Award finalist.
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Top Customer Reviews
Would you want to join them and listen in on their conversation? Would you like for the Christian optimism to rub off on your own ministry? Knowing that not everything thrown out for discussion would jive with your own understanding of ministry, would it still be worth your time to go?
If so, then you will probably enjoy and profit from this new, fast-paced book from Frank Page, the current President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Reading through it will take no longer than that hypothetical lunch engagement.
Packed with personal anecdotes and a generous helping of quotes from other similar books (i.e. Stetzer, Rainer, Warren), Page serves up a lot of pastoral counsel to pastors who want the church to stop "shrinking" and instead find growth and life and vitality.
You can hear the Southern charm of Page coming through in lines like this zinger - "The fields are white with harvest, but these churchgoers don't care for the crop. There's corn and cucumbers everywhere, and all they want is tomatoes."
Page gives practical advice -
"One thing I encourage pastors to do, whatever the size of their churches, is to be personally involved as much as possible in the lives of their people. In this age of impersonal electronic communication, a genuine personal letter is like a little present delivered by the mailman. I write personal letters every week to members of my church. I write to every member who has lost a spouse the week before the first anniversary of that loss. I also write personal notes before Mother's Day and Father's Day to every member who has lost that parent in the past year. Until our membership climbed above one thousand, I used to call members on their birthdays."
Page wants to see pastors really love the church, meaning people- "Wise pastors set two goals for themselves in the first year of a new pastorate: to learn and to love."
When I say that this "lunch meeting" is full of optimism, it is because of quotes like this:
"Hold onto the promises of Scripture, ditch the fear, and forge ahead with faith. Faith produces a vision for success that is impossible to capture if all you see is the mess your church has become. ...Let faith shape your perspective. You haven't come to your calling as pastor by accident. You haven't come to this church by accident. God is moving and working in your life, ready and willing for you to call on Him for assurance any time. Claim the faith that God has for you, base your perspective on faith instead of fear, and the Lord will show you the way to lead your church forward into a brighter future."
As a pastor myself, I am glad I took the time to listen in on the encouraging conversation this book offers.