Churches committed to following Christ's example want to see this world changed for the sake of eternity. While the supernatural component of making that happen goes without saying, how does a body of believers do its part to be in...
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Churches committed to following Christ's example want to see this world changed for the sake of eternity. While the supernatural component 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 can occur?
In Transformational Church, bestselling research authors Thom S. Rainer and Ed Stetzer have surveyed fifty thousand down to five hundred congregations in search of the qualitative answer. Their book contains a wealth of indispensable new data, nuanced insights, and clear 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.
^^The most comprehensive study of the American church to date.
How are we doing? The church, that is. And how are we doing it? Congregations have long measured success by "bodies, budget, and buildings"--a certain record of attendance, the offering plate, and square footage. But the scorecard can't stop there. When it does, the deeper emphasis on accountability, discipleship, and spiritual maturity is lost. Ignoring those details, we see fewer lives transformed, Christian influence wane, and churches thin out--a situation that is all too familiar across North America today.
It is time to take heart and rework the scorecard.
According to Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer, the authors of Transformational Church, "Too often we've highlighted the negative realities of the declining American church but missed the opportunity to magnify the God of hope and transformation."
Based on the most comprehensive study of its kind, including a survey of more than 7,000 churches and hundreds of on-site interviews with pastors, Transformational Church takes us to the thriving congregations where truly changing lives is the norm.
Stetzer and Rainer clearly confirm the importance of disciple making for all through active biblical engagement and prayerful dependence on God alongside of ever-increasing, intentional participation in mission and ministry activities. As the church engages these issues, the world will see the change:
* More people following Christ
* More believers growing in their faith
* More churches making an impact on their communities
The transformation starts now.
Ed Stetzer (D.Min., Beeson Divinity School; Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) has planted churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia and transitioned declining churches in Indiana and Georgia. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents. Ed served for three years as a seminary professor at the Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and has taught at fifteen other seminaries. He is currently the Director of Lifeway Research and Lifeway's Missiologist in Residence.
He has written the following books: Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age (2003), Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church (with Elmer Towns, 2004),Strategic Outreach (with Eric Ramsey, 2005),Breaking the Missional Code (with David Putman, 2006), Planting Missional Churches (2006), Comeback Churches (with Mike Dodson, 2007), 11 Innovations in the Local Church (with Elmer Towns and Warren Bird, 2007), and most recently Lost and Found (Broadman), 2009).
Koorong -Editorial Review.
Thom S. Rainer (Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched,;The Unexpected Journey; Simple Church and Breakout Churches