If you are serious about fulfilling your mission as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you must read “The Purpose Driven Church.” The guidance and inspiration offered by author Rick Warren are based on research and personal experience at Saddleback Church (in Orange County California) and reflect both a faithfulness to the Gospel and a logical and pragmatic approach to ministry.
The entire book uses a variety of memory-triggering slogans, thought-provoking metaphors and interesting anecdotes, but sound Christian principles are always at the heart of his meaning. For example, in describing the correct approach to church growth, Warren says:
“Surfing is the art of riding waves that God builds. God makes the waves; surfers ride them. No surfer tries to create waves. If the waves aren’t there, you just don’t surf that day!”
This metaphor summarizes Warren’s theory of church growth. That is, only God can make a church grow. Our only job is to remove the obstacles that prevent God’s waves.
This book is for pastors and lay leaders. It is not about gimmicks or quick fix solutions. Everything is based on true theology and common sense. In fact, Warren says, “The New Testament is the greatest church-growth book ever written.”
Here are some interesting quotes from the book:
“God always uses imperfect people in imperfect situations to accomplish His will.”
About church building size: “The shoe must never tell the foot how big it should grow.”
“Every church needs to grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through through worship, and larger through evangelism.
“God called us to be fishers of men, not to swap fish between aquariums.”
“A church that has no interest at all in increasing its number of converts is, in essence, saying to the rest of the word, ‘You all can go to hell.'”
“On the one hand we are obligated to remain faithful to the unchanging Word of God. On the other hand we must minister in an ever-changing world.”
“Church growth is a partnership between God and man. Churches grow by the power of God through the skilled effort of people.”
“We must be wary of the tendency to allow meetings to replace ministry as the primary activity of believers.”
If the significance of these quotes escapes you, read the book. If it doesn’t, read it anyway. There’s so much more!
© Copyright 1998, 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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The Purpose-Driven Church
Growth Without Compromising Your Message & Mission