Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book Review: The Strategically Small Church by Brandon J. O'Brien

There are many people in the world today, especially in America, who believe that bigger is better. In fact, bigger often equates to being the most successful. If you wanted to sell something, would you rather have that something sold in a store like Walmart, or in some mom and pop store on main street in small town USA?

But bigger is not always better, nor is it more successful when it comes to the church in Christianity and that is the premise of Brandon J. O'Brien's book The Strategically Small Church. What Mr. O'Brien does is show how smaller churches are not only biblical, but are better suited more times than not than large churches to minister to the needs of the people around them. This is not to say that the larger churches, or mega-churches do not have a place, but simply put, there are more smaller churches than larger ones.

Mr. O'Brien starts off his book by pointing out that the size of the church should not be an indicator of a ministry's success, then proceeds to show how several large churches have seen that downgrading in size has actually been a benefit to their ministries. Mr. O'Brien then goes on to point out the benefits of a smaller church: becoming inter-generational, becoming a training church, being a nimble church and becoming an equipping church to name a few.

The Strategically Small Church is a well written and well researched book, and Mr. O'Brien knows his subject well, but I have to admit that this was a book that took some time for me to read in that I am not a church leader nor a pastor. However, I did learn quite a bit from this book about more of the inner workings of these positions.

If you are a pastor, or a church leader, then this book should be one that you read. For the rest of us, if you are interested in how the church works, then read it. If not, then this isn't the book for you.

Please note that Bethany House Publishers has provided me a complimentary copy of this book for my review; however, the opinions are my own. I have not been required to publish a positive review.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review: Which None Can Shut by Reema Goode

There are many times when I have wondered what it would be like, to be a missionary in a Muslim country.  After reading Reema Goode's Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories Of God's Miraculous Work in the Muslim World  I feel that I have an idea of what that life might be like.  Writing under a pseudonym to protect not only her and her family, but those who have been led to Christ by them, Mrs. Goode shows us the world that she, her husband and her two children live in.

This book is not a book that instructs people how to evangelize the Muslim world, nor, is this a book that tells the world the statistics of those who were Muslim and have now come to faith in Jesus Christ.  What this book is, is a wonderful collection of experiences that Mrs. Goode and her family have lived through while sharing the love of, and the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This book is a very easy read and was one that I had a hard time putting down.  As I read this book, I felt as though I was having a cup of coffee with Mrs. Goode in my living room, listening to her tell her stories to me.

This book will encourage as well as challenge you.  If you are even remotely interested in the lives of missionaries in Muslim countries, then this book is a must read.

Please note that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me a complimentary copy of this book for my review; however, the opinions are my own. I have not been required to publish a positive review.