Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Review -- Spiritual Development Materials

This is going to be short and sweet. Last year Willow Creek released a study of spiritual development in congregations. Frankly, it wasn't pretty. It said a lot of things that most of us know but don't want to admit about how little progress in spiritual development a lot of regular church goers actually make. Yea, I know -- shocking.

This year, they have released a follow-up based on a significant amount of in-depth study. This book looks at what things make a difference and when they make a difference. The book is called Follow Me, (it is listed on Amazon as Follow Me (Reveal)). It was written by Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson.

I've been on my church's adult education committee forever. I've read everything. Up until now I thought the best single work I had read was George Barna's, Growing True Disciples -- and it probably still is. This book is joining it on the shelf, however. Is it perfect? Um, well, no. I did mention it came from Willow Creek, didn't I? When I read spiritual development materials that treat church members as consumers to be satisfied (there is even a paragraph heading in this book "Recasting Our Primary Message"), I start reaching for the Calamine lotion.

Nonetheless, the rest of this book is worth an outbreak of hives.



Stushie said...

The best book that I have read recently on this subject is entitled "The Jesus of Suburbia - How We Tamed the Son of God to Fit Our Lifestyle" by Mike Erre.

I interviewed Mike on my weekly radio show and found his approach to suburban evangelism to be radically refreshing.

Elaine said...

Thanks, Stushie. I will have to read it.

Norman, OK