Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

A Multi-Site Church Road Trip by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon and Warren Bird

From the Zondervan website:

The multi-site church movement is reshaping the way we do church. But how does it actually work? And is it right for your church? Enjoy a guided tour of multi-site churches across America and see for yourself how churches are growing and reaching their communities. This companion to The Multi-Site Church Revolution gives you on-site pictures of the new and creative ways churches are expanding their impact through multiple locations.

My Opinion:

I was a bit skeptical at first simply because I am not a mega church person, the impersonal and sometimes lacking Biblical teaching really throws me for a loop, but like a lot of books I’ve been reading lately I’ve been pleasantly surprised! With the authors the reader will take a trip covering 15 churches all over America who have gone multi-site and not all of them are mega-churches (or weren’t when they started).

I liked being introduced to how churches of varying sizes were able to grow and reach more people wether in the United States or internationally through internet based campuses or through buildings in other countries. These churches and those who pastor them do really seem to care about those who come in every week and for some many service throughout the week – I didn’t notice anything about it being impersonal. While some of the more main sermons are given via simulcast or DVD each campus or site has their own Pastor and their own ministries allowing the church community to grow and reach others for Christ. The main points in having multi-sites (from what I gathered from my reading) is that it’s a way to gather more people for Christ and continue growing in their (babes and those mature Christians) relationship with Him.

I’m not sure if I see some of the smaller churches in my area going this route, but the authors say it doesn’t matter how small your congregation is, it can be done. However, at my church there are only about 50 to 60 people and that includes the children – would it be feasible and financially responsible to do this – I don’t know. I do know not everyone can get to where my church is located, out in the country, since public transportation doesn’t run there and it would be neat to reap more harvest for God by going multi-site but financially can it be done? This was a great book for lay people who want to get a bigger vision of reaching people for Christ or just want to get more of an idea of what multi-site is all about.

YouTube video for “A Multi-Site Church Road Trip”

**I was provided a copy of this book through Zondervan in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.**

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Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions by James A. Beverly

Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions by James A. Beverly is a voluminous tome that takes time to digest but is an excellent source of well researched material on religions of the world. Mr. Beverly does admit that he is not all knowing and any negative opinions are not done in malice or in any hating of any individual or religion.

In the Introduction Mr. Beverly ten things that he feels are a Christian way to respond to different religions that are not Christian and outlining the basics of the Christian Faith. He also gives ten tests for truth in religion:

  1. The God Test
  2. The Christological Test
  3. The Biblical Test
  4. The Love Test
  5. The Spirit Test
  6. The Freedom Test
  7. The Psychological Test
  8. The Social/Political Test
  9. The Prophetic Test
  10. The Rational Test

I won’t go into much detail about each test, suffice to say this provides a good starting ground in determining wether a religion is truly Christian grounded in the Truth. He also describes cults and what constitutes a cult – sometimes the lines are not so clearly drawn in regards to some.

The religions discussed in this book are Baha’i, Branch Davidians, Buddhism, Christian Science, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, The New Age, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Satanism, Sikhism, Unification Church and Witchcraft. Within each religion such as Protestantism there are subdivisions discussed like Adventism, Anabaptists, Anglicans, Baptists, Charismatics, Church of Christ, Emergent Church, Florida Outpouring, Fundamentalism, Kansas City Prophets, Seventh-Day Adventist, Methodists and other denomations within the Protestantism belief system.

Within each is given time lines of that particular religion, websites for further research and learning and other recommended reading. The full colored pictures are accompanied with short descriptions of the picture of the place or person the picture is of. The pictures are a wondeful addition to a book that would feel extra large without them. There are four appendices as well which provide more information:

  1. Religions as Family Traditions
  2. Taoism and Taoism Chart
  3. Introduction to Brainwashing and Deprogramming
  4. Resources on World and New Religions.

This book is a must read for anyone who enjoys theology, study of other religions or just to know why other religions think the way they do. While I am sure this is not all encompassing, as religions constantly shift and change the information contained in this book will enable the Christian to see other religions and understand even if not in agreement with them. I do suggest young children not see this book as there other dieties and images dealing with Satanism which could be scary to some children.

You can find out how to purchase this book by visiting Thomas Nelson’s product page.

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