Wednesday, July 9, 2008

COMING BACK TO "COMEBACK CHURCHES"

When I read a good book that will help me spiritually/professionally, I mark it up big time for future reference. However, most of the time I never pick up the book again. Not good. On the other hand, I did pick up Comeback Churches by Ed Stetzer and read through some of my notes. Here are some standout quotes.

  • The wrong question is whether your church is "traditional" or "contemporary" and which is better. The real issue is whether your church is biblically faithful, acting as the presence of Christ in the community at large, able to relate Christ to people in culture, and is on mission. In short, is your church "missional"?
  • Missional churches are deeply entrenched in their communities. They are not focused on their facilities, but on living, demonstrating, and offering biblical community to a lost world.
  • Many churches never experience a comeback because they want the community to change while they remain the same. But comeback churches are different. They realize that no one remains the same when they've experienced a fresh touch from God.
  • Churches that were once outwardly focused eventually become worried about the wrong things. They become more concerned about a well-used policy manual than a well-used baptistry.
  • Loving Christ and not loving the church is like telling a friend you love him, but you couldn't care less about his wife.
  • Most American churches today are well suited for mnistry in a different era. All churches are culturally relevant; the question is whether they are relevant to a culture that currently exists in their community or to one that disappeared generations ago.
  • Almost all comeback churches identified their mood of worship as celebrative and orderly with a significant emphasis on being informal, contemporary, and expressive.
  • Comeback churches know that the whole church has to embrace the mandate for evangelism. Everyone can be involved as a prayer, bringer, and/or teller, and should be trained and mobilized in one or more of these areas.
  • New Christians are likely to leave the church within the first six months if they don't develop at least seven significant relationships in the congregation during that time.

The underlying theme with all these quotes and the underlying message in Stetzer's book is that comeback churches mobilizes its members to get outside the walls of the church.

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