Author: Rick Warren
Publication date: 11/1/1995
Source: Public Library
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Every church is driven by something. Tradition, finances, programs, personalities, events, seekers, and even buildings can each be the controlling force in a church. But Rick Warren believes that in order for a church to be healthy it must become a purpose-driven church by Jesus. Now the founding pastor of Saddleback Church shares a proven five-part strategy that will enable your church to grow. . .- Warmer through fellowship – Deeper through discipleship – Stronger through worship – Broader through ministry – Larger through evangelism. Discover the same practical insights and principles for growing a healthy church that Rick has taught in seminars to over 22,000 pastors and church leaders from sixty denominations and forty-two countries. The Purpose-Driven Church® shifts the focus away from church building programs to emphasizing a people-building process. Warren says, “If you will concentrate on building people, God will build the church.” (Excerpt taken from here.)
I am going to be completely candid as I always do when reviewing a book. As I began to read this book regarding church growth and health, at first I was captivated with the progression experienced by Rick Warren’s church out in California. At first glance we are given an overview of the work and ministry of Warren and how he began to grow a church from literally nothing to something. To me personally there is no doubt that Warren’s objectives in the beginning were that of a true missionary in his area. But as the book began to progress I noticed that the spiritual characteristics of church growth and winning souls was put aside in order to operate a church more like a business. Now I completely understand that our local churches must be operated in many instances like a business, overseeing the funds etc. with integrity. But Warren in this book begins to draw out steps for pastors if they want to grow. But what I perceived was that in this growth many souls are put aside. Even the title of the book was a little uncanny to me; it states “Growth Without Compromising Your Message…” I honestly feel that this sub-title of the book is a little deceptive. First and foremost this is not our message or the message of an individual, “we are just the messengers, taking the message of whom? JESUS CHRIST. I would give this book two stars. Why? First because I believe Warren in the launch of his ministry had good intentions of reaching the lost for Christ at all cost, but in the process I believe he turned it into more of a business than a church and began to focus more on the numbers and quantity of people instead of the quality. I truly believe this book compromises the message of Jesus Christ.
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