Useful books to help your church grow
100 Ways to get your church noticed Neil Pugmire CHP, pb, £15.58 Everyday Church Tim Chester and Steve Timmis IVP, pb, £11.99
Leading a church can be an isolating business. So many things need to be done, but it can be hard to get the resources and people to help.
But with my business background I tend to think a bit differently. I ask questions: what things can we do that cost nothing but will make a difference? (Pick some low-hanging fruit). What stories have we to tell and who wants to hear them? What about all those people on our doorsteps? How do we connect with them and their lives? Why should we expect them to come to us?
Both these excellent books help us to answer these questions. 100 Ways to get you church noticed, should be in the possession of at least one person in every church in the land. Literally, it is so packed with ideas I’d suggest just opening it at random and doing whatever it says on that page. Want to spruce up your noticeboard – this tells you how. Need to recruit a welcome team – look no further. Want to do better posters – Pugmire’s your man. This isn’t a glamorous book but it is profoundly useful.
Now I may be sad, but I’ve taken to reading a chapter a night of this book. I found myself in need of the services of a pen and notebook and I am already making changes at St Cuthbert’s, North Wembley, where I am vicar. This book is a snip. It could do with more on social media, but what is here is helpful. But this is just a tiny moan.
Everyday Church is also a useful book. Its aim is to help us get out of the mentality that people actually want to come to church. Quite brutally we are told that our whole approach to evangelism needs to change. Something I agree with. The need, Chester and Timmis, argue is to stop thinking about putting on events and start building genuine attractive communities. We need the Gospel and a Community – much as the early church did. The best chapter here is that on pastoral care. It will confront you deeply and make you think again. I also loved the chapter on everyday mission and could have broken out into applause. It is so good on tips for connecting with local people – not in one of those cheesy “intentional” ways, but naturally and genuinely.
If you buy both these books and act on what they say – your church will be a better Gospel church and community and it will grow. Plus you’ll have much more fun doing church.