Description : During the past twenty years the phenomenon of church growth--especially as it has been known under the dynamic leadership of Donald McGavran and the School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary--has resulted in an impressive array of books, articles, reports, and theses. While freely acknowledging their debut to the church growth school, the contributors to this volume wish to explore further the premises, principles, and goals of church growth. Firmly convinced that church growth is more than empirical data and effective methods, and that there is nothing approaching a complete book of church growth, they aim not simply to offer definitive answers but rather to open up fresh lines of inquiry--historical, experiential, methodological, and theological. Thus, while interacting with previous studies, the authors view their work as a constructive contribution to the search for a more adequate understanding of church growth patterns. Contributors to this volume include Alfred C. Krass, Harvie M. Conn, Orlando E. Costas, John H. Yoder, Harry R. Boer, and C. RenŽ Padilla.
Description : The missional church conversation continues to make a vital contribution to thinking about congregations and their contexts, addressing the essential question What does it really mean to be church? This book offers substantial, clarifying insights into that ongoing dialogue. Contributors: Mark Lau Branson James Tzu-Kao Chai Mary Sue Dehmlow Dreier Terri Martinson Elton Scott Frederickson Joon Ho Lee Gary M. Simpson Craig Van Gelder
Description : Dallas Seminary Professors Make Basic Theology Accessible for All Theology doesn't have to be complicated. In this book, trusted Dallas Seminary professors present a concise systematic theology that distills the essential spiritual truths in a way that makes sense to readers--students, lay people, and pastors. Here are introductions, overviews, and reviews of key tenets of orthodox protestant evangelical doctrines. The book also includes an annotated list of key applicable Bible texts, a quick-paced story of doctrine throughout church history, heresies or distortions to be aware of, and more. Exploring Christian Theology is useful for discipleship, catechism, membership training, preview or review of doctrine, or quick personal reference. It can also be used by ministry training programs, Bible colleges, or seminaries as an introductory primer to orient students in preparation for a more in-depth study of theology.
Description : From a historical perspective, similarities among the Lutheran churches in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are easily understood. But these previously homogeneous northern societies, built on a Lutheran tradition with close ties between church and state, are now considered to be among the most secular in the world, as well as being impacted by a growing presence of other religions. These changes present a major challenge to the churches concerning how to relate to the state and how to be a "folk church." The goal of this volume is to explore how Lutheran identity presently shapes churches in the north. What are the burning issues engaging these churches at the beginning of the third millennium? Are there signs that they are affected by the global emergence of a theology and practice commonly known as Neo-Pentecostal or Charismatic? What is the situation for women in these churches embedded in societies ranked among the world's most egalitarian? In what ways does their Lutheran heritage influence how these churches shape themselves today? The point of departure for this study is not a predetermined, normative understanding of what a Lutheran church is or should be, but the fact that the churches presented here represent what "Lutheranism" is today in this part of the world. Contributors include Anne-Louise Eriksson, Steinunn Arnthrudur Bjornsdottir, Solveig Anna Boasdottir, Niclas Blader, Carl Reinhold Brakenhielm, Thomas Ekstrand, Arnfriður Guðmundsdottir, Goran Gunner, Harald Hegstad, Hjalti Hugason, Roger Jensen, Halvard Johannessen, Peter Lodberg, Benedicte Hammer Præstholm, Karin Sarja, Ulrika Svalfors, Merete Thomassen, Marie Thomsen, Marie Vejrup Nielsen, and Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen.
Description : Gaining form and momentum over the second half of the 20th century, the Church Growth movement has become an enormous shaping force on the Western church today. You may love it, you may hate it, but you can’t deny its impact. But what exactly is Church Growth? In what ways has the movement actually brought growth to the church, and how effective has it been in doing so? What are its strengths and weaknesses? This timely book addresses such questions. After providing a richly informative history and overview, it explores—in a first-ever roundtable of their leading voices—five main perspectives, both pro and con, on the classic Church Growth movement:• Effective Evangelism View (Elmer Towns)• Gospel in Our Culture View (Craig Van Gelder)• Centrist View (Charles Van Engen)• Reformist View (Gailyn Van Rheenan)• Renewal View (Howard Snyder)As in other Counterpoints books, each view is first presented by its proponent, then critiqued by his co-contributors. The book concludes with reflections by three seasoned pastors who have grappled with the practical implications of Church Growth.The interactive and fair-minded nature of the Counterpoints format allows the reader to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed, personal conclusions.The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Exploring Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.
Description : There are many ideas about how to increase the size of a church. But what if our vision is upside down? What if God’s desire is that we focus on being a quality church instead of simply a large church? The Bible envisions the church as a spotless bride, a vision of quality. Today’s church seems far from God’s vision of perfection, but that does not change the goals God has for His flock. Using Psalm 23 as a blueprint, Becoming a Grand Champion Church explores how Christ is shepherding His church toward maturity. A gap exists between this age’s knowledge of sheep and shepherding that makes it difficult to grasp the fullness of Christ’s shepherding work in the church. The author seeks to fill that gap with homespun remembrances of raising sheep to be shown at the county fair. He then ties the shepherd’s duties with practical suggestions of how the whole body can work alongside the Good Shepherd toward Christ’s vision for His bride. The result of following God’s plan is a Grand Champion Church that reflects the qualities of Christ to the world.
Description : What is the rapidly expanding multi-site church movement all about? Experience the revolution for yourself and see why it has become the “new normal” for growing churches. A Multi-Site Church Roadtrip takes pastors, church leaders, and anyone who is interested on a tour of multi-site churches across America to see how those churches are handling the opportunities and challenges raised by this dynamic organizational model.Travel with tour guides Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird, authors of The Multi-Site Church Revolution, and enjoy engaging and humorous on-site narratives that show you the creative ways churches of all kinds are expanding their impact through multiple locations. Hear the inside stories and learn about the latest developments. Find out firsthand how the churches in this book are broadening their options for evangelism, service, and outreach—while making better use of their ministry funds. Since each church on this tour is unique, you won’t find a cookie-cutter approach to ministry. Instead, you’ll gain some practical tools you can use to explore a multi-site direction at your own church.