June 2019 Resource
8 Virtues of Rapidly Growing Churches
Matt Miofsky and Jason Byassee
Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN
Book Review By:
Premise of the Book:
Growing congregations intentionally integrate foundational principles and practices that often lead to vibrant, thriving churches.
What the Book Does:
8 Virtues of Rapidly Growing Churches is a powerful inspirational book that shares experiences new church start planters/pastors with the United Methodist denomination. This resource encourages pastors and congregations of all sizes and geographical settings to allow the Holy Spirit to move and try new and innovative ministries as a means of evangelism and discipleship building. The authors offer eight virtues that were characteristic of rapidly growing churches highlighted in this resource.
Introduction: We Can All Learn from Church Planters
Virtue #1: Rapidly Growing Churches Believe in Miracles and Act Accordingly
Virtue #2: Rapidly Growing Churches Integrate New People Quickly
Virtue #3: Rapidly Growing Churches Love the Local
Virtue #4: Rapidly Growing Churches Exist to Reach the Next Person
Virtue #5: Rapidly Growing Churches Elevate the Practice of Giving
Virtue #6: Rapidly Growing Churches Work in Teams
Virtue #7: Rapidly Growing Churches Preach Well to the Skeptic
Virtue #8: Rapidly Growing Churches Make Friends with the Denomination
Conclusion: How to Pastor Like a Planter
What are the Important Insights:
The authors of this resource provide great insight from personal experience and the experience of other church planters. Emphasis on risk taking for the sake of growth is a common thread that weaves through the experiences of all the planters. Unwillingness to take financial risk restrains churches’ ability to grow. “In our churches, we often overestimate the cost of trying something new and underestimate the cost of doing nothing.” (p.12) Rapidly growing churches are relentless in their pursuit of new people. Throughout this resource there are ideas and practices that promote growth and vitality, which are applicable in most church settings.
Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This is a great resource for clergy, lay leadership, congregations, and denominational leaders who want to lead, inspire and encourage church growth and vital ministry.
Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist/Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.
Melvin is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership and visioning. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and is a nationally-recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations.
Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, a Master of Divinity degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.