Item description for Outgrowing The Ingrown Church by C. John Miller...
Overview This is a book for pacesetters -- church leaders who desire to help their churches break free of the things that turn them in on themselves. It is a masterly mix of biblical principle, objective analysis, and personal experience.
This is a book for pacesetters -- church leaders who desire to help their churches break free of the things that turn them in on themselves and keep them from being outward-looking and outward-moving communities of Jesus Christ. The ingrown church is a common phenomenon. It is the "norm" for contemporary evangelical and Protestant churches. But ingrownness is a pathology. It can destroy the vital spiritual health of a church. It must, therefore, be combated with the norms of Scripture. And that is why this book was written. Outgrowing the Ingrown Church is a masterful mix of biblical principle, objective analysis, and personal experience. It traces the author's own growing awareness of the problem of ingrownness in his calling as a pastor, seminary professor, and evangelist/missionary. In his own discovery of the power and presence of God he discovered the tendency of the church to live by its own power and resources. This is a book written to help change churches by changing the individuals who read it. It offers one an unparalleled challenge to be evaluated, revitalized, and then used by God for the work of ministry. Thus it is a book not merely for pastors, but for the whole body of Christ. "I have never been as excited about any book concerning church growth as when I read this book . . . . (His biblical) principles, if followed, transform individual lives and then lead to a movement within a church to change the whole congregation," writes John Guest in the foreword.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 1986
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310284112 ISBN13 9780310284116 UPC 025986284114
Availability 0 units.
More About C. John Miller
Miller taught practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, was Director of World Harvest Mission, and led mission trips to several countries. He was founding pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia.
Reviews - What do customers think about Outgrowing The Ingrown Church?
A Call to Action Dec 27, 2006
The late Jack Miller makes his own life and ministry a transparent window to show us strategies and tactics in taking an ingrown church and turning it back into one that has a sense of its kingdom mission. This process begins with recognizing the leader of the church as the pace setter. The repentance required to return a church to that for which it was called must generally start with those who are the leaders. Miller urges such leaders to first repent themselves and then to begin moving their congregations to repentance through a process of asking diagnostic questions.
The church is called to fulfill the missionary mandate by means of the filling of the Spirit as the empowering agency of its call. This mandate is accomplished through deeds of love and empowered through private and corporate prayer. Upholding all of this is an understanding of God's unconditional love toward sinners. By contrast, the problem often faced by the ingrown church is that of "religious cushioning" in which we focus on preserving our own comfort level instead of seeking the filling of the Spirit.
At the end of each chapter, there are "action steps" that take the principles presented and illustrated and put them into practice within specific church situations. These give the book a "how to" quality.
It seems to me that the shotgun approach to dealing with the ingrown church might have differing effects depending upon the size of the church. At the same time, Miller's action steps can find ready application in churches of all shapes and sizes.
Miller makes a call both to personal prayer and to moving the church to a greater sense of community prayer, giving practical action steps to bring this about in a gradual but persistent manner. He reminds me that, in this endeavor, I am "in the toughest battle facing the Christian church."
"People come to a church where they are wanted and they come to a pastor who wants very much to introduce them to Christ" (Page 112).
A Challenging Book Jan 27, 2004
I finished this book almost ten days ago and have not yet been able to write a satisfactory review of it. I began several times, but each time found I was missing some important aspect of it. I believe the source of my trouble is that I read this book only after reading many others that came after. If I had read this book when it was published (1986) I would seen it as groundbreaking. But today, when we are surrounded by books on the principles of church growth, this book does not seem to have much new to add.
One thing that is unique about this book is that it was written by a Presbyterian pastor who also taught at Westminster Theological Seminary. Though church growth and large churches are generally associated with evangelicalism, this book details the rise of a large Reformed church. Also, this book deals with outgrowing an existing church whereas many newer books that discuss church growth do so from a church-planting perspective.
The book traces John C. Miller's growing awareness of the problem of ingrownness in his calling as a pastor. Naturally his church was only as good as its leader and it also suffered from ingrownness. We see the discoveries the pastor made that led him to outgrowing his ingrown church. The author's journey began with a breakdown as he grew frustrated with his church and with being a pastor, so left the ministry. During a time of searching he came to realize that as pastor he was the source of the problem and to build his church into one motivated to carry out the Great Commission he would need to make changes. He details this journey and in so doing challenges others to discover the power of God rather than attempting to abide in their own power and with their own resources.
Though a good book full of solid teaching, I believe it would best serve as an introduction to church growth and to outgrowing a stagnant church. If you have read other books on the subject this many not excite you very much. Those wary of evangelicalism may also find comfort in the fact that this is written from a Reformed perspective. When it comes to specifics about church growth there have been many books written since this one that will probably prove more useful.
Challenged to Change Sep 26, 2002
In C. John Miller's book, Outgrowing the Ingrown Church,I found an answer to why the Church seems lacking in vitality and growth. Miller explains this as a failure of an ingrown Church to accept the challenge of living out its missionary purpose. I was amazed to find myself taking on the ingrownness of my own Church, renewing our vision, and leading us through the trials that followed with greater spiritual energy and deeper contentment that I'd ever known. Though I first read this book eight years ago, I continue to go back to soak up Miller's message. I encourage anyone who cares about the Church to read this book. You will find yourself saying "yes, yes!" as Miller renews your passion for the Church's great mission.
Biblical Principles for transformation of Church and members Jul 27, 2002
This is a fanatastic book written both for the leader and layperson. One comes away zealous to be what Miller calls a "pacesetter": one who leads by example, willing to make every sacrifice to motivate an ingrown church. Miller calls Christians to repent and believe again in the power promised by God through His Holy Spirit. Both leaders and lay people must reorientate their lives to "regular and thorough meditation on the promises of God." Miller outlines many characteristics of an ingrown church and calls us to repentence using biblical principles in a contemporary manner. A suberb book for the spiritual empowerment necessary for becoming the true Chruch of Christ with a missionary character.