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Rethinking the Church: A Challenge to Creative Redesign in an Age of Transition [Paperback]

By James Emery White (Author) & Leighton Ford (Foreword by)
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Item description for Rethinking the Church: A Challenge to Creative Redesign in an Age of Transition by James Emery White & Leighton Ford...

An innovative, evangelistic pastor issues a challenge to local church leaders to rethink their unique ministry and all areas of the church, resulting in a process of radical redesign which helps fulfill its purposes and mission in a changing world.

Publishers Description
Why is it important to rethink the church? Today many leaders focus on how their ministries can be run more efficiently. But the foundational question, according to James Emery White, should be Why do we have this ministry? and then, Why do we do this ministry the way we do? Is it effective?
Rethinking the Church helps pastors and lay leaders work through questions that must be answered if a church is to rethink evangelism, discipleship, ministry, worship, community, and the structure of the church. Break old molds, check assumptions, and be sensitive, says White. He uses the language and aims of "seeker-targeted" churches but urges readers not to tie themselves to any model without understanding the individual purpose of their church.
Now thoroughly revised and expanded, Rethinking the Church contains more emphasis and key material on how to move from rethinking to transition. White blends biblical reflection and hands-on experience and uses the early church as described in the Book of Acts as the ultimate example.

Community Description
Your church has a unique mission. Have you taken time to understand exactly what it is? White helps pastors and lay leaders break "old molds," check assumptions, and answer vital questions about how their ministry can best foster evangelism, discipleship, worship, and more. This revised edition emphasizes how to move from rethinking to transition. 160 pages, softcover from Baker.
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.41" Width: 5.86" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2003
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0801091659  
ISBN13  9780801091650  

Availability  0 units.

More About James Emery White & Leighton Ford

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, often cited as one of the fastest-growing church starts in the United States. He is the author of eight books, including "Life-Defining Moments," "Rethinking the Church," and "A Search for the Spiritual." Dr. White holds a Ph.D. from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, with additional study at Vanderbilt University and the University of Oxford. He also serves as adjunct professor of Christian Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of four children.

James Emery White currently resides in Charlotte, in the state of North Carolina. James Emery White was born in 1961.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Institutions & Organizations
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Rethinking the Church: A Challenge to Creative Redesign in an Age of Transition?

Great Book  Nov 10, 2006
I really enjoy reading the book and wished I had read it a long time ago.
A must read for every church leader  Sep 4, 2006
This is an excellent book that brings us to rethink who the church is and what the church is about. James Emery White takes us through rethinking evangelism, discipleship, ministry, worship, structure and community... every aspect vitally important to the life of any church.

In his introduction, Emery states 8 reasons people give for not attending church:
1. There is no value in attending (74%).
2. Churches have too many problems (61%).
3. I do not have the time (48%).
4. I am simply not interested (42%).
5. Churches ask for money too frequently (40%).
6. Church services are usually boring (36%).
7. Christian churches hold no relevance for the way I live (34%).
8. I do not believe in God, or I am unsure that God exists (12%).

When you read a list like that, how do you feel? Would you feel compassion for the lost, or would you feel that we are not here to please the lost? The book does not ask us to compromise God's standards, but to look closely what we hold on to, and whether they are God's standards, or just something we created to protect God's standards.

When Emery talks about "rethinking", he is referring to the effectiveness of the church, i.e. doing the right things. Any church can be efficient, i.e. doing things right, but efficiency does not mean that the church is effective in what she does. Emery does not give us a set of methods to follow, but draws for us the picture of the current culture and society that we live in, asks questions for us to reflect on what is happening, and at the end of the day, we need to decide what needs to change and how the change is to take place.

As Emery states, "the biggest barrier to reengineering is the past success of the institution", we need to look past our past successes and look at the now, and the future. In the past, churches use big tent revival meetings very effectively to reach the lost, but does that mean that we must do the same today? Emery helps us to understand the difference in culture 40 years ago as compared to today, e.g. 40 years ago, there is a general sense that there is a God, but today, many question if there is a God. So, by seeing the change in culture and values of society, it may be seen that big tent revival meetings may not be the best way at reaching the lost because the church is preaching to a group of people who are at different levels of receptivity. This is one example of how this book helps us rethink the church.

One aspect that I like about this book from many other books on church or leadership is that Emery brings in God in his writings. I have read many books that makes it seem that if we do all of what it says, the church will grow... but Emery looks at Prov 21:32 that "victory rests with God, but we must prepare the horse to the best of our abilities."
Good Introduction  Jan 27, 2004
Rethinking The Church explores the nature of the church with a view to making the necessary changes that will ensure that the church remains relevant to our culture. The author proceeds from the foundation that much of what we do and see in today's churches is derived from 17th to 19th century culture, and as such has lost much of its relevance to our postmodern society. We need to critically examine our churches to discern to the world today and what is simply tradition holding over from days gone by.

White draws heavily on the writings of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and George Barna: so heavily, in fact, that it often seems he has little to say that is truly original. If you have read The Purpose Driven Church and are familiar with Hybels' writings, you will find a lot of repetition in this book. Still, at only 128 pages it is an easy read and still worth your while. If you have not read books on this topic before, this makes an excellent introduction.

This book does a good job of showing the importance and, to some extent, the methodology of taking a critical look at the church to evaluate if it truly is an effective tool for God's work. I appreciated that on the whole the author treats the traditional church with respect, seeing the beauty of traditional parts of the worship service and traditional music. At the same time I appreciated his harshness on the necessity of being willing to make changes where changes are necessary.

Ask the right questions, get the right answers!  Oct 15, 2002
Rethinking the Church by James Emery White is the book to read when it comes to understanding why your church is not growing. The primary strength of this book is that it asks the right questions - it leads the reader to ask the right questions about his or her church. The secondary strength of this book is that it does not prescribe one set answer, one model of doing church, as the only possible answer for the absence of growth in one's church growth.

Based on his experience of starting a church that reaches lost people, White delineates questions that need to be asked by every church. Even though the book was written in 1997, I found the questions to be accurate today. The questions White leads the reader to ask in the areas of Purpose/Vision, Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry, Worship, Leadership Structure, and Community seem to me to be timeless questions. The value of answering these questions honestly and applying the answers thoroughly cannot be overstated.

When reading this book, the discerning reader will understand the style of worship used in White's church. The beauty of it all is that White does not try to force the worship style of his church upon the reader's church. However, he does stress the importance of using a worship style that is relevant to the lost people in your community.

I would recommend this book to everyone in church leadership. It will help you to understand the context in which you minister, and, hopefully, how to minister better in that context.

Turn Inspired Vision Into Real Action  Apr 4, 2001
Dr. James Emery White has written a special book for the church, church planters, and church strategists. White is no mere theorist, but a man of action. The principles espoused in this have been put into practice in the real world at Mecklenburg Community Church. In 7 years, he has moved from the dream of a seeker-targeted church to seeing over 3000 in attendance each weekend. Dr. White does not play around the fringes of easy believism, but challenges his members to go deep in their commitment and their faith. Having personally experienced a Mecklenburg Community Church worship service, I have been challenged to implement this philosophical foundation coupled with practical use of state of the art technologies to grow our church. With countless Mecklenburg members committed to going deep in their faith, James White has turned a vision into a reality and a book into a manual for church growth success.

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