Provocative, visionary, counter-cultural, inspired! (5/28/2010)
The model of the church today stands in stark contrast to the church of the New Testament. In his new book, Scott Boren is calling for a new restoration, a restoration of the "relational way" that is at the very heart of God and His design for His church. The ideas Boren proposes are revolutionary within our culture; indeed they are counter-cultural, which is exactly what he intends and proposes in this book.
I have been an avid reader of books on community, small groups, church growth, discipleship, and leadership for many years. It would not be an overstatement to say that this is the most provocative, visionary, thought-provoking book I've ever read. It is obviously inspired. Every pastor involved in small group ministry (or not involved yet) needs to read it. I've been thinking and writing about some of this stuff for several years, so I am in alignment with Scott's propositions, but he has put this in ways I had not yet considered. I've already ordered ten copies for our church leadership team.
The book identifies ten assumptions that we as church leaders often make as we start or build our small group ministries. Boren categorizes these as "structural myths" that have quietly crept into how we think and act. In my ministry, I have either believed these myths or, even if I knew them to not necessarily be true, I organized ministry according to them. As I read Boren's book, I think to myself that I should have known better. But as Boren says, they have become such a subtle part of our "operational system" that until we read a book like this, we assume them to be true. Boren then provides a relational truth in opposition to each structural myth.
I really like how Boren presents each chapter. He begins with Scripture, presenting strong, sound theology to the relational truth. Then in the rest of the chapter, he provides practical application in accordance with those theological truths. The way Boren has organized this book has helped me to first listen to God speak on each subject and then to consider how I might apply these truths in my situation. I like that. This book has stimulated my imagination, and I'm hoping it will do the same for other leaders in our church as well. It is sure to begin a dialogue that could be transformational for God's church where I serve and you serve.
Mike - Kentucky, USA
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