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Rethinking the Church: A Challenge to Creative Redesign in an Age of Transition Paperback – July 1, 2003
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"Jim White has done it again. I heartily recommend this book."
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Top Customer Reviews
Based on his experience of starting a church that reaches lost people, White delineates questions that need to be asked by every church. Even though the book was written in 1997, I found the questions to be accurate today. The questions White leads the reader to ask in the areas of Purpose/Vision, Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry, Worship, Leadership Structure, and Community seem to me to be timeless questions. The value of answering these questions honestly and applying the answers thoroughly cannot be overstated.
When reading this book, the discerning reader will understand the style of worship used in White's church. The beauty of it all is that White does not try to force the worship style of his church upon the reader's church. However, he does stress the importance of using a worship style that is relevant to the lost people in your community.
I would recommend this book to everyone in church leadership. It will help you to understand the context in which you minister, and, hopefully, how to minister better in that context.
White draws heavily on the writings of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and George Barna: so heavily, in fact, that it often seems he has little to say that is truly original. If you have read The Purpose Driven Church and are familiar with Hybels' writings, you will find a lot of repetition in this book. Still, at only 128 pages it is an easy read and still worth your while. If you have not read books on this topic before, this makes an excellent introduction.
This book does a good job of showing the importance and, to some extent, the methodology of taking a critical look at the church to evaluate if it truly is an effective tool for God's work. I appreciated that on the whole the author treats the traditional church with respect, seeing the beauty of traditional parts of the worship service and traditional music. At the same time I appreciated his harshness on the necessity of being willing to make changes where changes are necessary.
In his introduction, Emery states 8 reasons people give for not attending church:
1. There is no value in attending (74%).
2. Churches have too many problems (61%).
3. I do not have the time (48%).
4. I am simply not interested (42%).
5. Churches ask for money too frequently (40%).
6. Church services are usually boring (36%).
7. Christian churches hold no relevance for the way I live (34%).
8. I do not believe in God, or I am unsure that God exists (12%).
When you read a list like that, how do you feel? Would you feel compassion for the lost, or would you feel that we are not here to please the lost? The book does not ask us to compromise God's standards, but to look closely what we hold on to, and whether they are God's standards, or just something we created to protect God's standards.
When Emery talks about "rethinking", he is referring to the effectiveness of the church, i.e. doing the right things. Any church can be efficient, i.e. doing things right, but efficiency does not mean that the church is effective in what she does. Emery does not give us a set of methods to follow, but draws for us the picture of the current culture and society that we live in, asks questions for us to reflect on what is happening, and at the end of the day, we need to decide what needs to change and how the change is to take place.Read more ›
To lead the reader through rethinking the areas of ministry listed below in order to assist the reader with bringing about change from the rethinking.
The book is divided into 8 chapters: “Rethinking”…
The foundational questionsEvangelismDiscipleshipMinistryWorshipStructureCommunityFrom rethinking to change
Rethinking is defined as “the radical redesign of church processes for dramatic improvement in the fulfillment of the church’s purposes and mission”. The author identifies the most important word in the definition of “rethinking” as “process”. By process he means “a complete end to end set of activities that together fulfill the purposes and mission of the church”. The exercise of rethinking, measuring and judging our “processes” is a needed one. I recommend this book to the pastor that sees the need for this exercise and is willing to pay the price to carry out that exercise. Instead of rethinking our processes churches have been focused on repairing their church. Peter Drucker stated “there is a great difference between increasing efficiency-which is doing things right-and effectiveness, which is doing the right things”.
Who will benefit?
The pastor and his leadership team then the congregation and community once the exercise is implemented.
How will they benefit?
It will serve as a guide and instructional tool for rethinking every aspect of your ministry. It will help the leaders to “rethink why they do what they do the way they do it”.
Where does it fit in the process?
At the front end of your ministry design process.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book and it was delivered in a timely manner. I have had no issues and i appreciate the smooth transaction. Thanks... I truly appreciate it.Published 4 days ago by Brandon
I had a hard time at first with the truth of how many people leave the church without finding Christ. A cursory knowledge of spiritual things hurts the soul. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Chris Malkemes
This was such a great read! So inspirational and really helps you to see things from a new perspective. I highly recommend this book!!Published 11 months ago by Rebecca Avalos
It is a great book that helps you thinking about elements of the churchPublished 21 months ago by Jeff