Lot’s of research, not a lot of insights.
I had great hope for this book because of the caliber of the authors and research. I was surprised that the insight per page ratio was so low. The early chapters emphasized the care given to the quality of research, but many of the conclusions were often only a step above common sense, e.g friendly churches are more healthy than unfriendly churches, transformational churches are churches that are open to change, churches are better lead by teams than individuals.
The final chapter did a good job summarizing the main value of the book. The key to a church impacting a city is to have a long-term presence with a plan to affect the city in a comprehensive way. We must think beyond a church’s main activities as being in a building on a Sunday and focus on the church in the community during the week.
The audience that would benefit most from this book includes those who have a basic understanding of church life, but have not carefully reflected on the distinctions between healthy and unhealthy churches. The book offers an introduction to the categories used to evaluate churches that may be helpful for people who are new to the Christian faith.