Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review: Dangerous Church

This week, John Bishop's new book, Dangerous Church, is on blog tour.  I'm happy to say that it's making a stop here at The Squirrel Factor this morning.

John Bishop offers up this book about how to buck the programs and red tape that may have your church tangled up in "business as usual" in order to better serve a world that is in big trouble.  The book is written primarily to pastors and lay church leaders, but there is something to be gleaned from it for anyone involved in their church's life. Bishop challenges churches to get out of their comfort zones and start getting down and dirty to truly reach out to those who are lost and hurting.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.  It was written in an engaging voice and was filled with stories to keep the reader invested and following the trajectory of where the author was going.  Some of the recent "change you church" kind of books that have been coming out read much like business manuals and I was relieved that this one does not.  (If I'd wanted to read business manuals as part of my professional development, I'd have gone into business, not ministry.) That said, I did tire a bit of the sheer number of examples given in the book that were from Bishop's own church. While it's clear that his methods/thinking/whatever you want to call it worked out wonderfully in his church, it would be nice to hear how they've been applied in other churches and ministries as well.  This is one catch I find in many books written by mega-church leaders.  They like to talk about their own church.  Alot.

That said, Bishop does have an active, growing and positive church ministry and what the book lacks in diversity of setting, it makes up for in good, old fashioned passion and solid biblical teaching.  I felt like I came away from the book not with a battery of new techniques to try out, but rather a renewed passion for remembering to reach out to the people noone wants to touch.  He offered encouragement that one doesn't have to be perfect to be effective.

Overall, I liked this book and would recommend it to other church leaders.  In fact, I may be passing it on to my own pastor soon, as I think he'd enjoy it as well.  It's a quick, positive read that I'd encourage anyone in ministry to go read.

Zondervan publishers were kind enough to provide me with a copy of this book so that I could be a part of the blog tour.  Isn't that awesome!?  If you've read my reviews in the past, you know that I'm not obligated to give a positive review of the book and in fact have given one or two reviews in the past that weren't too positive at all.

1 comment:

  1. I also thought John Bishop was very engaging. I resonate with your sentiments about the business manual style of writing we've seen a lot of as well. Those are very good take aways from reviewing the book. Good job!

    Did you enjoy his passion for saving the lost? I did. He was quite sincere. Refreshing.