If you are called to be a shepherd, Morris is passionate about your being as good as you can be. “It's why I've written this book,” he writes. (63)
He sets out to address the principles upon which healthy churches are built. He writes, not only about the how-to, but the why as well. He knows about church growth. The church he founded in 2000 now has some 24,000 active members.
Here are a few of the keys to a blessed church:
“When faced with a major decision or challenge, don't make a move without first getting alone with God and obtaining His counsel.” (11)
“Growth without real health is unsustainable. If you want growth, pursue and monitor health.” (31)
“What spiritual injustice bothers you the most? Righting that wrong is a key to your vision for ministry.” (37)
“The true shepherd models where he wants the sheep to go. He leads by example.” (71)
“Here's a surefire way to spot a true shepherd: he is an equipper. He is able and eager to equip people to do the work of ministry.” (77)
Morris really emphasized the equipping of the saints for ministry, calling it the biblical model. (87) “Every believer is called to minister.” (90) Small groups are the training and practice ground for equipping for ministry.
He looks to Jethro's advice to Moses for the balanced pastor's role: pray, teach the Word, and raise up leaders. (He has an extended section on empowering leaders.)
Morris uses lots of his own experiences to help pastors understand how to discern their own vision, how to write it, etc. He is very honest about his ow life and the mistakes he has made. And, he is the first to admit his church is far from perfect. “We don't have all the answers.” (181)
If you are a pastor and are looking for a book to help you through your own process of casting a vision for ministry and church, this book is a good choice.
Food for thought: Morris on worship, “Excellence is lifeless if God doesn't show up.” (191)
Robert Morris is the Founding and Senior Pastor of Gateway Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Since it began in 2000, Gateway has grown to more than 16,000 active members. Robert is featured on the weekly television program,The Blessed Life, seen in 80 million homes in the United States and in more than 200 countries around the world. He is the best-selling author of nine books, including The Blessed Life, From Dream to Destiny,and The Power of Your Words. Robert and his wife, Debbie, are the parents of three grown children and grandparents of two
Read the first chapter here.
Watch the book trailer here.
WaterBrook Press, 211 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press for the purpose of this review.