The author coaches pastors and churches of many denominations across North America, with a special interest in new church development and multi-site congregations in urban areas. The commitment to lead healthy, growing spiritual movements is what this book is all about.
|Publisher:||Pilgrim Press, The/United Church Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don¿t remember how I stumbled upon this book, but I¿m glad I did. It¿s short, sweet and to the point. It¿s optimistic AND it is not filled with theological finger-pointing, as are some church growth books I¿ve tried to read. In fact, this book seems almost to be specially written for mainline moderate and even liberal pastors. Now a Methodist, Nixon addresses his book to the huge membership decline experienced since 1970 by the mainline congregations. He thinks this need not necessarily be so, and in fact believes that church pastors can make a choice to be the kind of leader that brings about church growth, even in urban and semi-rural communities. Nixon then devotes a precious few pages to pastoral leadership. He makes a list of qualities of pastors who have helped their church grow. The first on the list is the most important: ¿A clear personal experience 'often over time' of the Risen Christ that has become the foundation for everything else one does in life¿ 'p. 17'. He follows this up by insisting that the personal experience of knowing Christ need not be colored a specific theological flavor, but he does point out how the so-called ¿liberals¿ are less likely to share that experience. This need not be so! His argument is buttressed by statistics from Stan Wood¿s book ¿Extraordinary Leaders in Extraordinary Times.¿ Nixon then boils church growth down to six basic choices: Choosing life over death. Choosing community over isolation. Choosing fun over drudgery. Choosing bold over mild. Choosing frontier over fortress. Choosing now over later. Nixon dedicates a chapter to each choice addressing particulars and specific issues involved. Each chapter is simple, direct and filled with good examples and ideas. In particular, the chapter on now over later lists arguments often heard for not doing something now, and offers a rebuttal to each one. The book is exceptionally easy to understand and is not ¿dumbed down,¿ making it an excellent choice for distribution among church leaders, perhaps for a retreat setting. I for one would have benefited from this book in seminary 'though it had not been written at the time' and would certainly recommend it for various sorts of congregational ministry classes.