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There’s Hope For Your Church
First Steps to Restoring Health and Growth
by Gary L. McIntosh
Publisher:Baker Books imprint of Baker Pub. from Lion
This book needs to be in the hands of every trainee minister and every minister moving into a new church leadership post. If only I’d read this book 13 months ago before I moved to my current church!
In 13 fast-paced, anecdote-filled chapters Gary McIntosh explores the steps required to revitalise church life. Yes it’s American and that naturally influences the language and stories that McIntosh employs, but the principles involved are universal as are the lessons the church in Britain needs to learn.
McIntosh’s 13 steps follow a logical sequence from vision to persistence. Rooted in biblical wisdom (without being too scripturally dependent), McIntosh returns again and again to certain key themes: the need for leaders to lead; the importance of ministerial commitment (but don’t stay in post too long); the importance of making hard decisions; and the importance of dealing with resistance. Rightly McIntosh reminds us that certain personality types make church leadership easier.
In many ways perhaps this is a straightforward ‘secular’ self-help book wrapped around a Christian context. Certainly there could be more weight on prayer and listening to God. Discerning God’s vision is arguably more about learning to notice what God is already doing, rather than thinking up ideas you think God wants you to adopt.
Those caveats aside this is an impressive and important book. Modern ministry is extremely demanding and a succinct guide to effective leadership that can inspire, encourage and sustain is much to be valued.
Reviewer: David Ford (16/10/12)