The church of 2012 is, in my opinion, beginning a decline which will have drastic endings unless a revival of biblical truths finds its way back into our congregations. One way of doing this is by being united among denominations, though we have different theology, we worship the same God. When I say denominations I do not mean those that have strayed way out of the line of doctrine and beliefs that the church of Acts held on to so long ago. It’s tough to determine which churches have strayed unless you note their specific doctrines. “Read this book with an open mind. You will undoubtedly find things you would say differently, outright disagree with, or don’t wholly relate to you, but don’t write off the rest. These principles are based on my understanding of Scripture and are being put to the test every day. It is my sincere desire that God will give you some insight-some revelation-that will take you much further than I have and that together we will plunder hell and populate heaven! May we pastor churches that God blesses to be a blessing”.
Robert Morris begins, The Blessed Church (Waterbrook Multnomah 2012), with a statement that I find lacking among any denomination today, even that of my own. He tells us that his understanding of Scripture is being put to the test everyday. I believe he is sincere in this statement and seeks to write a book that is not only a manual as to how to fill your pews every Sunday, but how to teach and preach in such a way that those same people become transformed into something more than just Sunday seat-fillers. Robert Morris does this in a variety of ways and takes on a vision that many people will undoubtedly find arrogant. One aspect of his vision includes, “preaching the best sermons you’ve ever heard”, that may sound very prideful upon first reading but after I dug a little deeper and listened to some of his teachings, while not wowed by them, I can understand that he does not mean to do this by being the greatest orator, or having the best jokes, but by expounding on the insights into Scripture which God has placed into him.
Reading a book that strays from the Reformed heritage is not the norm for me so at first I came to this book with a preconceived notion of the charismaticness this book would try and drag me to. After taking the time to empty myself of those judgements I found this text to be helpful, at least a bit, to those who are new or fledgling pastors or laypeople. This books includes not only how to grow the numbers but how to do church, which can be a tricky situation when planting or trying to grow a church.
I was a little disappointed that this book started off with a vision Morris had instead of the scripture based plan which would lay a foundation for this vision. He does do well to weave in scripture and the Holy Spirit into his vision for his church and to stay away from a legalistic form of church. Overall I enjoyed the flow of the book and the ease of language employed. I wouldn’t mind reading other material from Robert Morris but I’m not rushing out to Barnes and Nobles to pick up the latest Four Square Church manual.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”