All Christians should be interested in seeing the Church grow and people come to faith in Jesus. A helpful resource in this conversation is Growing God’s Church: How People Are Actually Coming to Faith Today by Gary L. McIntosh. The book is divided into three parts: Church Today, Faith Today and Evangelism Today.
The first section deals with the biblical and theological background for the church. It was interesting to read as the author emphasizes areas that I currently do not. I see social justice and acts of service as important, not just in partnership with evangelism. I also try to focus on the kingdom of God more than the Church. McIntosh goes in a different direction and that is good as I need the balance. However, I would suggest that there is more that needs to be said about the relationship of the Church to the kingdom. We probably shouldn’t be trying to choose between the two.
The second section deals with research that the author had performed in relation to some older research. The role of family in people coming to Christ is very significant and cannot be overlooked. There are some interesting trends as well with regard to the role of the pastor.
The final section brings it all together with practical suggestions for churches and pastors. McIntosh writes this book not just out of sociological interest but for the purposes of helping churches become more effective in evangelism.
Growing God’s Church is a short but important book for pastors and church leaders to read.