Book Review: Ready, Steady, Grow by Ray Evans

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ready steady growI just finished reading Ray Evan’s new book Ready, Steady, Grow: Equipping Today’s Gospel Churches. Ray is pastor of Grace Community Church in Bedford, England. The book came out a few months ago, and I was very curious to hear his thoughts on leading churches to grow. Below is a description of the book and a few quotes from the book that I thought were very good:

Description

Do you love your church and want to see it thrive? Are you keen to learn from someone whose own church has grown and started others too? Are you ready for the downsides as well as the inevitable joys?

Ray Evans takes us on an interesting and exciting journey. He looks at the barriers to growth, as well as the hurdles of reorganization and structural changes that growing churches face. His findings are anchored in the Bible and the real world which we all inhabit.

‘Many have learned how to lead what they have,’ says Ray, ‘but they don’t know how to take it forward. You don’t see the glass ceilings until you crash into them, and the splinters bring pain everywhere.’

In Ray, you will find a humble, wise and warm-hearted guide. This book will not only equip your church to grow, but will help prevent unnecessary disasters.

Quotes from the Book

  • Though many leaders are well prepared for doctrinal controversies, pastoral care, personal spirituality and preaching techniques, they receive relatively little help with leadership matters.
  • It seems a waste of capability to have gifted men leading very small churches, with no real expectation that they will ever be supported by their members financially and devoting lots of times to doing something else to earn a wage.
  • …churches that stay small do not support full-time workers.
  • One church leaders claims that if a church works at three quality indicators: namely quality welcome, quality teaching and quality hospitality, it will normally grow.
  • Many conservative evangelical Christians in the UK seem to have a strong aversion to such growth pains, and the thought of their church really growing is not what they desire in their deepest heart, whatever they may say.
  • Put godly, capable leaders into almost any situation and, given God’s good grace, they will take the work forward.
  • Some problems in growing churches can’t be fixed by ‘just’ praying or preaching. They have to be managed, organised and worked through – with courage and skill.
  • We must keep making the gospel the basis for meeting people’s deepest desires, and learn to grow beyond an immature basis for meeting them.
  • If you grow large, you have to grow small at the same time.
  • Investing time and expertise in other people will enable the church to grow beyond your own capacity.
  • In 2005, 3.2 million people in England (6.3% of the population) were in church on Sunday, which is down from 5.4 million (11.7%) in 1979. Twice as many people in Britain go to IKEA than attend church every Sunday. The numbers converting to Christianity are far too small to match the number of deaths.
  • Don’t talk numbers; talk people having life and eternity transformed.

Pick up your copy today, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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