Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Review: The Irresistible Church

I’m suspicious of formulas. Having spent the first part of my ministry looking for the “magic pill” that will make my church grow, which, by extension would make my ministry “successful,” I’ve encountered tons of books written by pastors of large churches offering strategies and tactics that will bring both bigger numbers and greater faithfulness to my congregation.

And I’ve found myself so frustrated by my lack of “results” that when a book that promises massive growth to my church in a few easy steps, some red flags pop up.

Wayne Cordeiro’s new book “The Irresistible Church” is a book that raised some of these rouge banners. In fact, his promise is that, using his model of church, your congregation will be irresistible to heaven, not just people. If you follow his blueprints, then God can’t help but bless your church.

His premise was where he lost me. While he has some good (but not particularly new) ideas, I was most troubled by the notion that God is simply waiting for Christians to do the “right” things before God will bless them. That we need to catch God’s attention by engaging in certain practices and behaviours.

Are we blessed because we are faithful? Or are we faithful because we are blessed? If we do all the right things would we not receive a “reward” rather than a “blessing”?

It’s not that Corderio is offering anything wrong or bad for the church, he has some wonderfully practical ideas. But by framing his method in a way that puts people in control of the human-divine relationship, he creates not a gospel church, but one of human activity.

This book was useful in that it provided some good ideas, but I had trouble getting past his original premise.

(NB: Book has been provided courtesy of the author and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller)

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