Review: Seven Practices of Effective Ministry

Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones.   Seven Practices of Effective Ministry   .  Multnomah Books, 2008 (Kindle Edition), 194 pp. $13.99.

Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones. Seven Practices of Effective Ministry. Multnomah Books, 2008 (Kindle Edition), 194 pp. $13.99.

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This review will be short as, in my estimation, much of this book should offend anyone who loves both God’s Word and God’s church and desires to see the latter shaped by the former.

As the title indicates, Seven Practices of Effective Ministry offers a handful of “strategies” for growing an effective church ministry. Unfortunately, a number of the principles put forth range from quasi-biblical to anti-biblical.

The entire book is based on a conversation that a disgruntled and fatigued pastor is tricked into having with a pagan businessman and all the incredible insights (sarcastic tone) with which he’s provided. Readers are supposed to believe that, while this man is clearly no fan of the church, his advice is the “secret sauce” that can propel the church toward reaching her potential.

And his advice is clear: If the church wants to become, be, and stay relevant and effective in this world for God’s glorious purposes she must learn from business leaders who have demonstrated great deals of success in their respective fields.

Absolute absurdity.

The authors reveal an unbiblical view of the church, one that grieves me to think is spreading through North American Christianity like a prairie wildfire during a drought. It’s a pop-ecclesiology that seeks to answer the question How should we do church? by polling the unregenerate, treating them as our ‘customers,’ and viewing ministry through that lens.

Here’s a wild idea: The ONLY way to “do church” successfully is to “do church” the way God has prescribed. We do not start with the end in mind. The ends are up to God. We are called to simply be faithful with the means. Anything else is arrogance.