Pastor of Dallas/Fort Worth Gateway church, Robert Morris, is the author of The Blessed Church. The church’s public slogan is “We are all about people!” Which is not to say that people are first in this pastor’s heart; Jesus Christ holds this position as far as I can discern from his writing. This book is geared toward pastors and church elders and leaders for the purpose of discussing church growth, equipping the congregation, evangelism, worship, and many other topics all for the purpose of bringing people into the kingdom of GOD.
Pastor Morris believes that GOD has communicated in the bible several principles that, if utilized, will build healthy, growing churches. “We are called to be builders, not architects,” Morris writes. He does not claim Gateway to be the best church, but believes that he has tapped into several of these GOD directed church-building principles and desires to communicate not what Gateway does, but rather why they do what they do. Here is a quote from Pastor Morris:
“At the onset [of this book] I promised to explain not what Gateway does, but why we do what we do…I want your church to be robust, vibrant, and healthy–knowing that if you achieve health, growth will be a natural result. And growth for your church means more people saved; more believers discipled; more priest equipped for ministry; more sharing of the redemptive, transformative love of God in the workplace and the market place.”
I believe that Pastor Morris has many good things to say, but if you are not careful you may miss them. I say this because the first 14 chapters of the book came off as distracted and disingenuous. I must admit that if I had not been absolutely determined to finish this book I would have stopped reading it before this point. I believe that I was wrong, however, and would encourage you to keep reading if you find yourself with the same thoughts.
I came to this feeling because these first chapters seem to be centered around growth in numbers and stories of large-scale building projects and the like–all of which can be a turn off in the wrong context. After this point you begin to see the heart of a man determined to reach the lost, and disciple and equip the saints, and foster a community of worship. I would recommend this book for churches of any size that want to see some of the principles that scripture has laid out for the church as a community of believers.
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