Item description for Prepare Your Church for the Future by Carl F. George...
Overview For pastors who want to be prepared to meet the spiritual needs of our rapidly changing society, Prepare Your Church for the Future describes the metachurch, a body that is large enough to celebrate and small enough to care. Specific guidelines aid pastors and church leaders in making theirs the church of their dreams--a caring, witnessing metachurch.
Publishers Description By analyzing the present-day church and examining societal trends, Carl George presents a model that can mobilize your church for outreach.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Apr 5, 2012
ISBN 0800753658 ISBN13 9780800753658
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More About Carl F. George
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 research director for Leadership Network, the nation's leading catalyst for helping innovative church leaders move from ideas to impact. An ordained minister, he 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.
Reviews - What do customers think about Prepare Your Church for the Future?
Important Model for Church Growth and Vitality Jan 24, 2001
Carl George wrote this book some time ago, but even today, it is a highly relevant and important book for many of today's churches. The concept of small groups is not exactly a new concept. Many churches have encouraged this for years. But few churches even now have turned the concept of small groups into a far reaching and fundamental tool of ministry, outreach, and caring that permeates the entire church mission. Even today, small groups tend to be a "back burner" concept among many churches.
This book tries to draw a direct relationship between small group ministry and church size. The theory is that a church can grow only so big and reach only so many people absent a vital and large emphasis on small groups. George cites a few megachurches as examples of the kind of ongoing growth and changed lives that occur when the church embraces small groups not with a recreational commitment, but with the kind of commitment that comes when something is considered a primary mission of the church.
The small group model for church growth is a model that works, not because George says so, but because several churches who have embraced this model are growing beyond many of the ceilings that the vast majority of churches who don't embrace this model can't seem to break through. Getting their people into small groups, when emphasized and encouraged, allows bigger churches to continue ministering to people and meeting their needs by allowing the congregation to minister to itself and not overtax the staff. This accomplishes the goal of the church not having to build up a huge staff of paid people to try and meet the needs of a big congregation. Therefore, allowing church funds to be spent not on an increased staff, but on more relevant activities that are more in line with the mission that God has imparted on the particular church. Further, small group multiplication allows the church to continue to grow and reach new people in the community in ways that are non threatening.
I did not give the book 5 stars only because the book does not appear to spend a lot of time discussing how a church can really establish a vital small group ministry and structure their staff in an effective way to cultivate it. Too often, growing churches want to do good things, but do not put the kind of infrastructure in place, whether people or facilities, to administer the programs with excellence. It's the classic problem of biting off more than we can chew. The motivations of the church are in the right place in these instances, but without a clear plan in place for administering a major small group ministry, George provides an incomplete strategy for implementing this approach. This may sound like a minor point, but it isn't. Ministries that are not undertaken with excellence are ministries that fail to fully fulfill the purpose for which the ministry was created. Having an administrative infrastructure in place that effectively manages a big small group ministry while also being an infrastructure that is frugal relative to church budgets is clearly one aspect of establishing a ministry with excellence. And this aspect is not easily addressable and thus, represents a significant challenge to George's model. It is solvable I believe, but George should have addressed this in more detail, in my view.
But clearly, George has hit on something that every church can benefit from if implemented correctly. At its core, Christianity needs to be about people. And in order to meet people's needs and transform people into fully devoted disciples of Christ, the church must place just as much a priority on meeting people's needs and providing care and support as it does on spreading the Gospel message. In fact, I would argue that those two things go hand in hand, and both are strengthened by the other. Having an active small group ministry that looks for small group solutions for a whole array of congregational concerns and interests is a proven model for church growth and evangelism, and something George describes very well. A good book, a good pastoral resource.
Best reason for small groups Mar 12, 2000
While some of the diagrams leave you wanting and wondering, the heart of the book solidifies the need for small groups. Especially in a era when there is so much demand on our time and so much stress in our lives. When George related the story of Jethro and his council to Moses, I knew our church HAD to get behind small groups in a big way. George shows how small groups are the key to a church family and how they are the true ministry of the church.
Shows the way for vital churches in the 21st Century Sep 13, 1999
Carl George's "Prepare Your Church for the Future" is a must-read for those who desire to approach ministry in fresh ways in the coming years. His emphasis on the keys for developing groups for meaningful relationships and growth are second to none!
Must-read book for churches that want to grow. Nov 17, 1998
Many churches have adopted small group ministry as a way to connect Christians and to provide support and growth for their members. George shows how small groups can become an engine for evangelism and leadership development and enable churches to break through barriers to growth. Essential reading for any church wanting to grow -- in both numbers and depth. I also recommend the follow-up book by George, "The Coming Church Revolution," which goes into greater depth and detail and provides examples of many churches from several denominations that have successfully used this model.