The project has disseminated reviews and other information about Christian books since the start of the Millennium. We regret that it is no longer possible to sustain it.
The U-Turn Church
New Direction for Health and Growth
by Bob Bouwer; Kevin G Harney
Publisher:Baker Books imprint of Baker Pub. from Lion
This resource for churches seeking to grow and reach the un-churched has much to recommend it. Written by two experienced American pastors, it might at first sight appear irrelevant to most churches here in England; however, much of what is offered is readily transferable.
The book is written for leadership groups and offers exercises and activities at the end of each chapter which are designed to help groups relate what they have read to their own situation. Throughout the book the reader is referred to excellent resources relevant to the points covered.
The authors pastor two very different churches and are very clear that there is no absolutely right or wrong way of doing things, suggesting that their experience and advice is adapted to suit the reader's situation. They share their experiences very frankly giving practical advice and encouragement.
Some of the ideas they offer are simple yet very powerful. I particularly liked the one where the whole church meeting encourages people to list their dislikes in relation to the new situation (p. 74). Two columns were drawn up, one was headed "Bible absolutes" and the other "personal preferences" and the meeting discussed which heading each complaint should be placed under. It proved an excellent vehicle for helping people to see that what was being done was Biblical and that most objections were actually selfish in origin.
Any church that is struggling to grow and move forward in response to Christ's command to make new disciples will find much to challenge and encourage them in this book.
Reviewer: Chris Low (23/03/13)