How can I help my church stay focused on its purpose? What would a culture of generosity look like for my church?
What part does rest play in a healthy church? Whether you are a pastor, a volunteer, or a church member, you want your church to grow well. After all, there’s no better place to experience God than in the loving, healthy community of a church. But what does an effective church look like? Is it possible to grow and be healthy at the same time?
Pastor Robert Morris has experienced firsthand the spiritual and relational excitement of a growing, dynamic church. In The Blessed Church, Pastor Morris brings you practical wisdom for cultivating real growth by nurturing true and Biblical health in your spiritual community. “How has your church remained so healthy while growing so quickly?” Robert Morris gets this question a lot. In other words, people want to know: “What’s your secret?”
In The Blessed Church: The Simple Secret to Growing the Church You Love, Pastor Robert Morris unfolds why Gateway Church in suburban Dallas–Fort Worth is one of America’s fastest-growing, spiritually enriching local churches—and still one of its healthiest. Written for both church leaders and lay people, The Blessed Church looks at the qualities that make church “work” in the twenty-first century and how that can enrich your church—whatever its size or vision. With the humor and powerful stories he’s known for, Morris shows how every component of your church—including mission, church government, teaching, worship, small groups, giving, and outreach—can receive God’s richest blessings.
Rather than bemoaning the problems of the contemporary evangelical church, The Blessed Church celebrates the expanding role of the body of Christ in the lives of individuals—starting right where you and your church are today.
- Great read for any role you play in church
I've been in the member only role, the volunteer role, the lay leader role, the elder role, the staff member role, and ultimately, the pastor roll. The principles in the book are great, regardless of the role you play! There are going to be things you don't agree with, and that's ok. There are too many great insights in this book to pass up. Read it!
- Convicting and challenging.
I can imagine many people rolling their eyes at Robert Morris’ The Blessed Church. I can imagine them saying, “Another book by a megachurch pastor telling me why my church isn’t growing and how I should do more things like his church.” Well, most of those people won’t end up reading the book they’re deriding, but just the same they’re both right and wrong about Robert and his book.
This IS another book by a megachurch pastor telling you how to have a “better” church. And he does talk a lot about church growth. However, what he talks about the most is seeking God’s vision, and working on making your church healthy, because “healthy things grow.” He tells the story of how he planted Gateway Church and what their key values are. He dedicates chapters to their theology of worship, community (small groups), preaching, etc. But he also includes some more surprising key values; like the chapter on the importance of creating a culture of rest.
I like it when authors narrate their own books, but in this case I think it was practically a necessity that Robert himself do the narration. He claims multiple times throughout the work that he isn’t trying to be boastful or arrogant about the tremendous success of Gateway Church. I would be less likely to believe him if I didn’t get to hear the earnestness of his voice firsthand.
His hermeneutic gets a little strained at times. He holds Moses up multiple times as the quintessential pastor. While Moses is indeed an amazing leadership role model, Robert pushes the comparisons too far and draws from the narratives some things that simply aren’t there.
The highlight of the book is the section on healthy church government. I’m not sure I agree completely with Gateway’s leadership structure, but Robert does an outstanding job articulating the “whys” behind the “hows.” Too many churches don’t take this area seriously enough. I also found it very convicting whenever Robert talked about seeking God both long and hard during decision making and sermon preparation. How often do we neglect this vital practice?
This book is written with senior pastors in mind, but it is all in all a very challenging read for anyone who is in a church leadership position.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewer's Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- Insight Into A Flourishing Church
The Blessed Church by Robert Morris is quite a useful resource for anyone working for a church or interesting in church growth. Gateway has experienced dramatic growth over the last ten years and some of the lessons and keys are featured in the book.
The importance of a God-given vision and having it written down is one of the most important aspects of this book and is featured early on to lay a foundation. Having both growth and health are vital for a church to last through tough times. Areas such as different styles of leadership, finding good supporting people and a balanced church government are also addressed in great detail and they make a lot of sense in relation to what is written in the Bible.
I am not a pastor and I don’t work for the church but I have had been in church for a long time and I found this book surprisingly interesting. I had heard about Gateway, in particular Kari Jobe and their amazing worship team, prior to listening to this book but it was interesting to see how this church has grown and the principles they have used in this process.
The narration was probably the one negative aspect of this book as the author read the book and he had some very weird pronunciations of words (possibly how Texans say the words) and it wasn’t quite as easy to listen to as previous audio book.
This is a quality book on the topic of church growth and government, which would be helpful to anyone involved in running a church. It has principles that could be applied to any church no matter how large or small.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
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- mediocre narration
This book is supposed to be about, as the subtitle suggests, "the simple secret to growing the church you love." The original title of this book was "Healthy Things Grow." Essentially, it's all about the healthy growth of reaching people who don't know Christ and encouraging them to do the same. Morris believes it's not just a "how to" on church health, but also "why." Morris is no stranger to the concept, however, as his church seems to be a healthy, growing church. Thus, the question is often pointed to Morris as "what's your secret?" Morris wrote this book as an answer overall, with the intention of the principles herein being his understanding of Scripture, fully aware that the answer may not be what everyone is looking for, and may apply differently for each organization.
The narration is clear in dictation, easy to understand what Morris is saying. It definitely feels like a rehearsed speech presented to a large conference, mostly without inflection or emotion. Carrying a solid, sturdy voice throughout the text, Morris' narration is mediocre in presentation, which is a red flag to me. Often, narration can be different than the text, as I have heard and seen. However, when an author is the presenter, it is discomforting when there seems to be a lack of passion in the physical voice, as it often suggests that the voice of the text itself may be less than passionate as well. This audio may work well for group scenarios or church environments, but those that frequent audio editions over print for its presentation will not enjoy this selection.
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