How to Break Growth Barriers: Revise Your Role, Release Your People, and Capture Overlooked Opportunities for Your Church

How to Break Growth Barriers: Revise Your Role, Release Your People, and Capture Overlooked Opportunities for Your Church

by Carl F. George, Warren Bird

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Some churches grow rapidly, only to hit a ceiling. Other churches have experienced declining or static attendance—many of them for decades. Frustrated pastors and church leaders want growth methods that work, but without adding to pastoral fatigue.

How to Break Growth Barriers argues that growth comes when effective leadership and lay-empowerment skills work hand in hand. This requires a shift of focus from the shepherd as the primary caregiver to shepherd as developer and coach of many caregivers. The authors show pastors how to communicate a vision for the future and then how to lead the congregation into the paradigms necessary for potentially limitless growth.

The strategies found in this book are not only tried and true, and taken from a biblical perspective of a "harvest" vision. They're also newly updated to reflect our changing culture, including helpful charts and checklists for self-evaluation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801092466
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Edition description: Updated Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,229,232
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carl F. George, one of North America's premier church growth consultants, has trained pastors, staff, and top executives from more than one hundred denominations. He is former director of the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth and former president of the American Society for Church Growth. His other books include Nine Keys to Effective Small Group Leadership. He and his wife, Grace, live near Greenville, South Carolina.

Warren Bird
is an ordained minister and teaches at Alliance Theological Seminary. He is also author or coauthor of twenty-eight books, including Next: Pastoral Succession That Works. He and his wife, Michelle, live in a suburb of New York City.

Table of Contents

List of Figures 11

Preface 13

Part 1 Identify Your Vision

1 What Can This Book Do for You? 19

2 How Can You Enlarge Your Vision? 34

3 How Does Vision Motivate? 53

4 How Would an Outsider Describe Your Church? 68

5 How Strong Is Your Growth Bias? 82

Part 2: Redefine Your Role

6 Why Develop the Skills of a Caregiving Coach? 97

7 Where Do You Stand on the Spectrum of Care Provider versus Caregiving Coach? 116

8 Should You Use More Than One Leadership Style? 125

9 Multiply by Releasing 135

Part 3: Break Specific Growth Barriers

10 How to Break the 200 Barrier 147

11 How to Break the 400 Barrier 167

12 How to Break the 800 Barrier 190

13 How to Break the Care Barrier 209

Acknowledgments 227

Notes 229

Bibliography 237

Subject Index 245

Scripture Index 249

Meet the Authors 251

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How to Break Growth Barriers: Revise Your Role, Release Your People, and Capture Overlooked Opportunities for Your Church 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MikeCWatt More than 1 year ago
How To Break Growth Barriers is a paradigm shifting book for many. I love being a pastor. I particularly love the pastoral tasks of teaching, preaching, and one-on-one discipleship. I greatly enjoy seeing many people come to faith in Christ and become fully-functioning followers of Christ. What slowly becomes a frustration in a growing church is that these elements (evangelism and discipleship) can seem to be in competition when reality they are not. The Scriptures give various descriptions and commands to the office of Pastor such as: Do the work of an evangelist Shepherd Teacher Bishop/overseer Entrust these things to faithful men Carl F. George and Warren Bird hone in on these last two aspects (Overseer and teaching faithful men) of the pastoral office. The roles of evangelist, shepherd, and teacher are emphasized very heavily in the seminaries and bible colleges and rightfully so as these must be lived out as an example to the flock, but many of us did not receive much teaching on the aspects of overseeing the structure church and developing leaders. The authors make the case that many churches fail to grow not because local pastors don't love their people or are not being faithful but because they reach personal capacity. No man can do it all, so they call for Pastors to think more like equippers than doers. Regardless of one's opinion of intentional church growth strategies, every pastor must read chapter 9 which addresses the subtle pastoral sins such as pride and finding our identity in doing it all. This chapter entitled, "Multiplying by Releasing" calls us to stop loving ourselves and instead love others by training the few to reach the many. How many of our ministries do not grow because we think that no-one can do the job better than us, or because we are workaholics, or because we are living in the fear of man rather than the fear of God. I have been challenged to reorient my thinking and am committing to asking myself regularly "how can I train the few to reach the many?" and "is my idol of ministry getting in the way of the whole body doing ministry?" Note: I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
“How to Break Growth Barriers” by Carl F. George and Warren Bird is a wonderful resource for church leaders and those interested in church growth. Many churches reach a certain number and then stop. Sometimes it is hard to push past those numbers and keep growing. In this book, the authors show how pastors need to change their way of thinking from being the shepherd as sole caregiver to shepherd as developer and coach of many caregivers. This book shows you how to share this vision to your staff and congregation. These methods are ones that have been tried and worked. They are also biblically based methods. Included are some charts and checklists for self evaluation. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to see their church grow and thrive. I received this book from Baker Books for my honest opinion.