I have done multiple reviews for Baker Books (Baker Publishing Group) and have enjoyed reading their material. This one is no exception. I found “Growing God’s Church: How People Are Actually Coming to Faith Today” by Gary L. McIntosh to be a very good read. Some parts were just a little slow, but overall I would say the author does a very good job covering the subject of reaching out to others through various methods.
I would give this book a 9.2 out of my normal 10 point rating scale. On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a 4.5 star rating.
In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Baker Books to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
“Growing God’s Church” is a very fascinating book to read as the author has done some updated research on how people are coming to faith in Jesus and also getting involved in a local church. Back in the 80’s, Win Arn did some research on this using somewhat similar techniques, but the author Gary L. McIntosh started seeing some differences, so he started an updated survey in the early 2000’s. The part that I appreciated most is that this is not a book simply about that research, but rather a call to do something about the research that Gary L. McIntosh uncovered. It is a call to the church and individual believers to reach out to those around us with purpose. A purpose specifically to reach them with the Gospel of Christ. One of the things I did appreciate most about this book is that it is a book about true church growth – not by mere numbers that walk through the doors of a church, but rather the number of people who come to faith in Jesus through how we interact with them. Highly recommended. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from Baker Books and all opinions are my own.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK:
Type of Book: Biblical Reference / Biography
Publisher: Baker Books (Baker Publishing Group) #BakerBooksBloggers @ReadBakerBooks.
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-0801016455
Price: At the time of writing this, you can get new from Amazon.com for $13.66 (suggested retail is $15.99 per the publisher) http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Gods-Church-People-Actually/dp/0801016452/ref=sr_1_1/187-0900007-9118643?ie=UTF8&qid=1457060818&sr=8-1&keywords=9780801016455
•Patent (perfect/square back) bound
•Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
Goal of Book:
The authors’ goal is to give insight to some updated research about how people are coming to faith in Jesus and going to church. He challenges us to reevaluate the way that we do outreach based on his newer research.
My Favorite Part:
The greatest appreciation of this book is how the author did not just leave it at the statistics of his research. Instead he effectively took it to the application aspect calling churches and individual believers to the action of reaching the lost – and being very purposeful about it. Especially towards the end of the book, if you are like me, you will feel encouraged, exhorted and convicted all at the same time.
My Least Favorite Part:
Some people may find the break out of the details in a few of the chapters a little slow, but I actually found them very interesting. So, not my least favorite part, but some people may not be the type to relate to charts and graphs even though they are explained very well in the text of the pages. Also, some other reviewers have stated how they didn’t like the “rehashing” of the first 6 chapters which are geared toward why we should be reaching out to others. I understand why they said that it is kind of rehashing, however, my opinion is that it never hurts for us to be reminded of this.
While there were a few parts that were a little bit slower, I honestly can recommend this book. I found it to be a very good read. I know some other reviewers didn’t care for it as much, but I would not necessarily agree with some of their comments. I really did enjoy this book.
Who Would Enjoy This Book:
Those in church or ministry leadership would find this book to be beneficial. Also any individual believer that would like to learn about reaching out to the lost.
Part 1 The Church Today
Chapter 1 – An Old Story Retold
Chapter 2 – What Is Our Mission?
Chapter 3 – What Is Our Priority?
Chapter 4 – What Is Our Role?
Chapter 5 – What Is Our Focus?
Chapter 6 – What Is Our Context?
Part 2 Faith Today
Chapter 7 – Who Led You to Faith in Christ?
Chapter 8 – What Method Most Influenced Your Decision for Christ?
Chapter 9 – Why Did You Begin to Attend Church?
Chapter 10 – Why Do You Remain at Your Church?
Chapter 11 – What Is the Pastor’s Role in Evangelism?
Part 3 Evangelism Today
Chapter 12 – Principles of Effective Evangelism
Chapter 13 – Inviting Others to Dine with Jesus
Appendix: Survey Instrument
About the Publisher:
From the Publisher’s website: Baker Books has a vision for building up the body of Christ through books that are relevant, intelligent, and engaging. We publish titles for lay Christians on topics such as discipleship, apologetics, spirituality, relationships, marriage, parenting, and the intersection of Christianity and culture. We also publish books and ministry resources for pastors and church leaders, concentrating on topics such as preaching, worship, pastoral ministries, counseling, biblical reference, and leadership.
Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.