Sunday, June 20, 2010

Transformational Church

I was introduced to a mammoth study on the potential future of the church last week at the Southern Baptist Convention. Transformational Church is perhaps the largest study of its kind looking at over 7000 churches and identifying the top 10% as transformational churches based on certain criteria. The study conducted by Lifeway Research has produced a book, a DVD/CDROM leadership pack, an assessment tool, and the option for consultation. The book is jointly written by Thom Rainer (president of Lifeway Church Services) and Ed Stetzer (president of Lifeway Ressearch). I picked up a copy of the book last week at the convention and read through it, finishing it today. I think it is an excellent addition to any pastor’s library. In fact, I have purchased copies for my whole staff along with the DVD/CDROM pack and have made the decision to begin working through this material next week on our annual staff retreat. Based on their exhaustive research, Rainer and Stetzer have identified a framework that identifies Transformational Churches. This is not a methodology book. It is not a cookie-cutter book. Every church is unique and lives within a unique context. The framework that identifies a Transformational Church is a framework that can be found in all types and styles of church. I found that the church I pastor in many ways is on our way to being a Transformational Church. It was very exciting to read the study, look at the framework, and place Grand with its context. It also helped me to see in a quantitative way where we need to keep working. I believe that the Transformational Church study can be very helpful for us and I look forward to guiding our staff through the material.

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