Friday, May 7, 2010

Change Your Church For Good

Change Your Church For Good is written by Brad Powell, senior pastor of NorthRidge Church. It is primarily about the insight he has gained through successfully transitioning his church from culturally irrelevant to a dynamic, culture-engaging church that exists to draw others to Christ, with the primary emphasis on reclaiming the Church's role to be "the hope of the world."

At first this book started out with basic principles that I've read countless times. Being that this is a revised edition of a book initially published in 2007, it may have been more innovative information then but in the past year or so there has been a huge influx of churches transitioning to be more "outside" friendly.

As I read more of this book I gained a greater appreciation, as I could see his love for the church and it's people shine through. He gives some excellent advice, inspiration and encouragement that is much needed for a pastor and a church that is embarking on transitioning a church to a vision that is more "others" oriented. While I did not agree with everything written, it was encouraging to read an account of a balanced way of transitioning a church. I don't envy pastors in this position; I'm sure it would be much easier to just start new and hand pick the types of people that already have a shared vision, but this pastor effectively shares some ways of changing the church, and changing lives while not compromising the essentials of faith.

Again, there was much I did not agree with in this book, yet still found quite a bit valuable and worth reading and pondering. Change and transition is never easy for a church, so it was good hearing the insight he had to give from his own personal experience as well as his understanding of the BIble.

Does your church provide hope for it's community?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] <[...]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255


  1. I just received this book from booksneeze and have only just begun reading it. I figured I'd poke around the reviews a bit. I am curious to hear what you disagreed with.

  2. Overall, it was fine..... I've just read several books that all have very different views of what church is or should be. I question an "attractional" model with programs, but I have to admit that this type of church works..... people are being brought to Christ, so I know I should re-evaluate my views. This books seems to advocate both: One that draws outsiders in, a safe, comfortable, culturally relevant place yet seeks to make actual disciples.

    So, maybe I was wrong to make such a broad statement that I disagreed with some of it. I see a place for the type of church model he advocates, but there is a huge part of me that wonders if church would be better off as a gathering place for Christians. Welcoming all, of course, but not catering to those that don't yet believe.

    It's just a matter of preference. I will say this that I still have a hard time with, partly because it happened at my church: In one of the chapters he says that he played Let's Get it Started before baptism. Now, I don't think this is necessary to be "culturally relevant" and I find such a song distracting. (and when it was played after my 10 year old's baptism I wasn't that happy; personally I thought there were other, better, more meaningful songs to play) I know his reasoning was that this was a celebration and a more meaningful celebration than the venues that this celebratory song is usually played at, but I just still have a hard time with it. I could get what he is saying, but I don't think that "culturally relevant" necessarily means mimicking culture.

    Yet, I really loved what he had to say about expecting excellence and do think that there is a place for us IN culture. He was quite balanced in most things; it is just that I've read so many other books that advocate a different approach to being culturally relevant.

    I hope that helps answer your question. It really is just a matter of personal opinion. The reality is I rarely ever, if at all, agree with any book 100% and I'm still figuring out my view on the "best" way of being/doing church.