I just have to say that Gordon MacDonald is a great writer. The point of the book: church leadership needs to shepherd its members to distinguish between timeless truths and cultural practices, all told within a compelling story. The book is a narrative of a pastor leading various characters through a process of change within a church. Much practical advice is subtly given as the pastor helps each personality walk through the change process.
MacDonald reminds us that a church, like any organization, must adapt and change at the same rate or faster than the environment/culture around it. Churches that don’t, lose influence and begin to die. At times, structures that were designed to meet a need become more important the need itself. Leadership needs to constantly evaluate and adjust programs to better meet their designed purpose. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to eliminate a program that no longer accomplishes its original goal. However, the issue gets confused when church members are emotionally attached to a particular program.
This book is a great read for those struggling with change in a church or inter-generational tensions. Not only is the content helpful, but the story format allows powerful lessons to be delivered in a way that lowers defenses. Content can be understood with less emotional baggage attached to the issues.