My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book will be a waste to time for most pastors. Why? It assumes a large church paradigm with the multiple staff members. Even for larger churches the focus is off. There are some useful principles here, but these can found in much better books and are often just common sense. The book focuses on numerical growth driven by developing and implementing a seven step process. There is lip service paid to spiritual growth, but that is clearly not the primary aim. Being stuck means you are not growing numerically. Numerous parts of it were not just ill-conceived, but actually wrong and showed a lack of theological, biblical, and historical understanding of what the church is and what she is called to do. For example, he says that he wants a service that both believers and unbelievers will love. How can that be? How can a lost, dead man love the same thing a found, alive man loves? There was very little Bible at all. He did not even try to prove what he was doing from the Scriptures. The chapter on culture was the most helpful, but would not merit buying the book. All in all it contains much of what I think is wrong with contemporary evangelical pastors. It is filled with cliches (“stay hungry” “negativity is bad”), it is shallow, it shows no concern for the historical forms of worship and church life, it is more interested in the lost than the saved, and it promotes constant change.
I got this book free from the Baker Books in exchange for an honest review.