This is a new book (as in 2010) I received last week (because I bought and paid for it … no freebies here).
And I loved it. I read it this morning. (In other words, this is not John Owen or John Edwards. It’s not even John Piper. It’s Mike McKinley. So it’s a short book [126 pages including the appendices]. And it is easy to read.) But it’s good.
It’s a book about McKinley’s experiences in revitalizing/replanting Guilford Baptist Church.
Now, some of you will be uncomfortable because McKinley likes punk rock and has tattoos.
Get over it. It’s still profitable.
Others will be uncomfortable because he added “Baptist” back into the name because he thought it was borderline dishonest not to have it in there.
Get over that too. You should probably do it. If you’re not a Baptist, repent now and become one instead of waiting for heaven and having to get in the back of a long line to do it. (It’s a joke, people. See comments on humor below.)
Here’s the bottom line: McKinley has no secrets to church revitalization or church planting. Trust me, I was looking for them.
His formula is pretty simple: Preach the Word, and love people.
Now there’s a few other things thrown in, like church leadership, clear membership, live in the community you are trying to reach, protect your marriage, train leaders, get Capitol Hill Baptist Church behind you (okay, that wasn’t really a point … but it probably didn’t hurt the effort there).
Appendix 1 has the plan that Dever and McKinley put together to take to CHBC, which is interesting in and of itself to see their thoughts about how to do this.
It also has some pretty funny stuff in it. It’s my kind of humor, which means a some people might not get it and a lot won’t think it’s funny. But I did.
If you are interested in church planting or church revitalization, you will probably benefit from this book. I know I did. It encourages me to do what I am already convinced is the right thing (preach the word, love people, and live with the people you are trying to reach). It just reminds me that I have a long ways to grow in two of those areas.
I am encouraged to be reminded that it’s not a numbers games. Successful pastoring doesn’t mean blowing the doors off numbers wise.
I am reminded to make preaching the priority for church leadership and revitalization. If you make something else the priority, it’s because you don’t really believe that the Word is the way in which God builds his church.
And if I repeat everything that I thought was helpful, I would break copyright laws.
So get the book and read it. Enjoy it and learn from it.