11 Innovations in the Local Church by Elmer Towns, Ed Stetzer, and Warren Bird
In 11 Innovations in the Local Church (2007, Regal Books), Towns, Stetzer, and Bird examine eleven ministry styles that many modern churches are using that set them apart from the traditional North American church. These are three experienced church ministry experts who clearly understand their topic. Each of the eleven innovations is an individual ministry style that some churches are using. These include:
- Organic House Churches
- Recovery Churches
- Multi-site Churches
- Ancient-Future Churches
- City-reaching Churches
- Community Transformation Churches
- Cyber-Enhanced Churches
- Nickelodeon-style Children-Focused Churches
- Intentionally Multicultural Churches
- Decision-Journey Churches
- Attractional Churches
A chapter is devoted to each of these styles. The authors take the time to define and illustrate each of them. They take the time to objectively analyze them, then point out strengths and weaknesses of each style.
One of the things I appreciated about this book is that the authors acknowledge that there is room for each of these models in the larger work for God’s kingdom. While it is true that any of them can be misused or used ineffectively, it is also true that any and all can be effective. I am a firm believer that we need to be flexible in our methodology in order to reach the maximum number of individuals with the Gospel and disciple them in the faith. 11 Innovations gives us great examples of some of these methods. I recommend this book for church leaders with the hope they are willing to be flexible and try different methods God is using to build his kingdom.
Are you willing to innovate? Are you willing to try new methods of ministry to both reach the lost and disciple believers? What do you think?