Thursday, February 23, 2012

A 'Move' in the Right Direction

Move: What 1,000 Churches Revealabout Spiritual Growth
(Zondervan, 2011) Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson

This book may not be for every pastor. There may be a few churches out there in which most of the congregation excels in loving God and loving their neighbors, but for the rest of us, this book is right on target. It lets us peek inside some of the churches that are effectively moving people from a place of nominal belief to living Christ-centered lives.

The book is based on the Willow Creek Association's REVEAL survey, which, since its inception, has been taken by 250,000 people in more than 1,000 churches. My church took the survey the first year it was available. We found it a helpful tool in assessing the spiritual growth of our people, but we really wanted to know which churches were excelling at helping their congregations mature in Christ and discover what we could learn from them. Move answers that desire.

While based on detailed statistics, this is not a book about numbers. It is divided into three sections, and Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson write engagingly by (1) detailing the stages people go through toward becoming fully devoted followers of Christ, then (2) examining the practices that move people forward in their spiritual journey, and (3) conversing with 13 pastors whose churches show the highest percentage of Christ-centered people. The conclusions are game changers.

I live in the northeast United States where church leaders are highly skeptical about ministry principles gleaned from the Midwest or West Coast. But the diversity of the churches high-lighted in Move puts such fears to rest. Some are large, some are small, and they are located in all parts of the country.Yet they have one thing in common-their people, compared with many other churches, are growing significantly in their love for Christ and for others.

Read the full post here: A'Move' in the Right Direction by Steve Tomlinson was originally posted by Leadership Journal.

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