Breakout Chruches, by Thom S. Rainer

Based on the coporate mega-hit, Good to Great, this book follows the travels of 13 churches who went through dry times and came out ahead. While I am naturally adverse to using coporate business books as church growth material, I tried to approcah this book with an open mind, especially after hearing what the notorious Jeremy Gange had to say about it.

The book is a research report more than a prescription on how to grow your church. The research group of doctrinal students under Thom Rainer interviewed thousands of churches and 13 breakout churches looking for common themes. The 13 churches chosen had to fit certain criteria, including keeping the same senior pastor through the dry time into the breakout times. I thought that was awesome, b/c it gave hope to pastors to stay where they are and not be constantly looking for greener (easier) pastures somewhere else.

So, I would pick up the book if you are a church leader, or want to support your church leadership in moving from good to great.

There were, of course, a couple of things that didn’t sit well with me. The biggest problem I had was with the statement that good was a sin if we are called to great. I just don’t see that as I look at the Scriptures. It sounds really motivational and all, but is it real? So, this book is not the gospel for me, but it is encouraging in a John Maxwell kind of way…

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