Dying to Grow is a book that encourages pastors and church leaders to return to the ministry that has Jesus' heart, evangelism. In this book the author, Nathan Lorick, starts by admitting that he had previously lost this important vision when leading his own church. It had becoming about growing "larger" by man's standards instead of by God's standards. Lorick reminds his readers that the purpose of the church is not to provide commodity programs for it's members but rather to reach the lost in all it does. At the root of every church activity, event and program should be the burning desire to reach the lost. Lorick gives numerous Biblical examples to illustrate the validity of his points. At the end of the book, Lorick walks his reader through a strategy planning process to help a pastor or church leader formulate a plan to take back to the other members of the church so that they can also reignite the passion of soul winning in their own lives. There is also two appendixes in the back that contain ideas about how to reach out to the lost as a church.
I personally got several points out of the book. The main take away was from a statement Lorick made, "The point is this: When you're burdened for spiritually dead people, all that matters is to succeed in the mission. When you're not burdened, you make every excuse to dismiss yourself from the responsibility." (p. 69 & 70) Having been in church leadership and/or ministry for the majority of my life, I can attest that this is true. I agree with Lorick that a lot of churches have turned away from the responsibility of sharing the Gospel as I have witnessed it first hand on many many occasions. This book reminded me yet again, that the job of witnessing is not the responsibility of "others" but mine personally! "The only complaint that really bothered me is there are numerous occasions where the author was addressing church leaders and pastors directly. I just kept saying to myself, "but I am not a pastor or church leader!".
Overall, I think this book is a good read for all people who attend church. Pastors and church leaders especially need to read it just because the message in the book is one we need to be reminded of often to keep the church headed in the right direction. However, we must realize it is not just up to the pastor and church leaders to share the Gospel, it is up to all believers!
Book Theme in one sentence: Keep the Gospel the main thing!
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