This week’s book of the week is Thom Rainer’s Breakout Churches. Rainer, the president of Lifeway, used to be the dean for the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth. In this book, he studied churches who were making the leap to doing great things. It is a great read with some great findings.
Top 5 Ideas:
- Rainer’s goal through his team’s study was “to identify as clearly as possible the events, patterns, plans, strategies, crises, and other factors that took place when a church made the transition to greatness” (24).
- “Most of the breakout churches in our study did not experience explosive overnight growth. For most, the path of growth was slow, methodical, and strewn with obstacles. Persistent, never-say-die leadership was a key instrument that God used to grow these churches to the next level. Giving up was always a temptation but never an option” (64).
- Speaking of staff dynamics, Rainer wrote, “They told us repeatedly that ministry is a joy when you understand what you’re supposed to do an why you’re supposed to do it. Purpose in their lives and ministries engendered joy, fun, and laughter” (108).
- “The breakout churches focused on doing a few things and doing those few things well. They did not attempt to carry out all of the passions of the leadership…the churches were laser-focused in doing those relatively few ministries well” (124).
- “The breakout churches were not fanatical about excellence in the same way a Fortune 500 corporation might emphasize excellence. The church leaders all spoke about a drive to glorify God, to please the Savior, or to do their best in the power for his sake. In other words, we found the drive for a culture of excellence to be theologically and biblicaly driven” (132).
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.