Read an Excerpt
There are few things in life that are more enjoyable for the two of us than talking about the ministry of the local church. Over the last few years, we've had conversations with hundreds of church leaders throughout the country. It's been a fun dialogue. We've learned a lot along the way that has benefited our ministry at Granger. And it's our prayer that some of what we've shared has helped to shape the ministry of other churches.
We're particularly excited about this book. Probably more than the first two, this book really reflects the personality of Granger Community Church. Because of that, it may also be the most challenging for other churches to digest. Our philosophy in presenting the material hasn't changed-we're still giving you the nuggets of the strategies we've found helpful in our ministry setting. We certainly acknowledge that not all 99 ideas will work in every church. We do hope, however, that your church embraces the dialogue that some of these ideas will generate. Our purpose is not to create division within the church; it's to fuel conversation and innovation and opportunity. We want churches to constantly reconsider their approaches to delivering the gospel message in ways that remain meaningful to today's culture and future generations.
That's what this book is all about. It's the story of growth at Granger. It contains many ideas that have worked throughout our journey. In reality, it also reflects a bunch of lessons we've learned because of risks we took that didn't pan out. But this is one of the reasons we love ministry at Granger so much: The leadership and the ministry team are willing to take risks.
We realized long ago that our methods must regularly change but our message must always remain the same. Even as we put these ideas into print, we know our strategies will shift. By the time you read this, some of the ideas will most likely be "past practice" because we will have already learned something new that has generated greater ministry success.
The thing to remember as you're digesting this book, however, is that not every church is like Granger. In fact, we would argue there are no churches like Granger. Each ministry has a unique mission that God has provided. Each church is led by pastors with different gifts and personalities. Each church reaches out to a community with a unique culture and demographic. Because of that, we neither expect nor encourage you to try to replicate every strategy precisely the way we've implemented it at Granger. Instead, we hope you'll read and discuss these ideas with your team and then determine which ones to address and how to apply them to your unique setting. Don't try to mimic Granger's applications. Do try to wrestle with the core principles that challenge your current thinking in an effort to improve how your church offers Jesus to your community.
Underlying all of the principles in this book is our belief that attracting a crowd to your church is not the goal. It's just a means to an end. Your goal is to attract a crowd so that you can turn that crowd into believers who are growing and making a difference in the world. Without that as the objective, your church is just a weekend inspiration station.
The world needs more growing churches. The world needs Jesus. With that in mind, we pray that your church will experience simply amazing growth! Tim and Tony