Churches committed to following Christ's example want this world changed for the sake of eternity. While the supernatural piece of making that happen goes without saying, how does a body of believers do its part to be in that "sweet spot" where true spiritual transformation occurs?
In Transformational Church, best-selling research authors Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer survey 50,000 churches—then narrow the scope down to 500 congregations—for a qualitative answer.
Their book, the most comprehensive study of the modern American church to date, contains a wealth of indispensable new data, nuanced insights, and how-to guidance, all centered on this key finding: "Transformational churches make disciples whose lives are being transformed by the gospel, so that people engage the culture around them for its ultimate transformation. Deeply committed to the essential foundations of discipleship (worship, community, and mission), transformational churches practice their faith and make disciples through vibrant leadership, prayerful dependence upon God, and relational intentionality. And they do so paying mind to their unique context and with a missionary mindset."
©2010 Thom S. Rainer (P)2010 christianaudio.com
This is a book about systematic research and the results of surveys. Not a formula for a reading thrill-ride. But for church leaders and those engaged in local church ministry, this is vital information. Let me also say that I've heard Ed Stetzer speak. He is engaging, animated, and knowledgeable. I have not heard his co-author Thom Rainer. In any case, once again the audiobook version of this 'christian' title suffers due to narration that is wearingly dull.
Is it purely the low-budget constraints felt by publishers of 'christian' titles that causes them to hire voice talent that cannot bring any interest to their products? I just don't get it. I've heard some amazing readers on Audible in my short tenure as a member. I'm beginning to believe that there are no titles in the 'christian' or 'sacred' genre with narrators that are as adroit and captivating in their interpretations of these as so many of the narrators of secular selections are. Hey Audible, see what you can do to help this okay?
I'm sure that somewhere in the fine print of the Audible user agreement that I "yes-clicked' to join there is some language quitclaiming any responsibility for injuries incurred as a result of falling asleep while driving and listening to boring narration. If not... better tighten up Audible legal department! ZZZZzzzzz...
This book will change how you do church. But as stated in a previous review the points the authors make are based upon their survey data on the issues. They rarely if ever present points to prove their data. In paper form that would be fine. In audio form it is a little harder.
I kept wanting them to throw in some proof points to show WHY the data says what is says. Since I already agreed with the points of this book it didn't give me a lot of new information. However, one section that is very helpful are the real life examples.
For each point examples of a specific church are given to show what it looks like in action. But to me most people who read this book will already have their own thoughts on how churches will be successful. Will surveys alone convince them to change their minds on these issues? I think no.
Maybe you are a person who is new to church or a student looking to start to build your knowledge of church ministry and philosophy to me this is where the book shines. This would be an excellent book for a class on church growth or church philosophy where the ideas could be dissected and discussed. Do these ideas work? Yes, according to the data. But another Audible book I read about change, tells me data alone does mean change will happen.
I would also echo that the reader is very bad, almost hard to listen to. The content is life changing the performance is painstaking.
"Interesting Survey Results"
When I first started listening to this audio I wasn't very impressed. I didn?t really know what it was about and thought it just was another ?how to? book about making your church the best!
I was going to give up listening, but I decided to persevere and I?m glad I did. This isn?t a ?how to? book at all, so don?t buy it for that reason. Instead it?s the results of a comprehensive survey completed by Protestant churches across the States.
The results are interesting, as there are many stories from different leaders, in how they are doing ?church? in a way, that sees real lasting change amongst their members and communities. I particularly liked the chapters on prayer, community and mission.
I?d say overall it?s a positive audio although I did find the narrator?s voice a bit dull, and sometimes it was repetitive. If you are a leader in a church who likes to know what is going on across America, this is probably the audio for you.
Thanks to christianaudio.com Reviewers Program for this copy.
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