High Impact African-American Churches

by George Barna, Harry R. Jackson Jr.. Regal Books, 2004.

How might white churches be impacted if they studied the leadership concepts prevalent in vital, high-impact African-American churches? George Barna believes that recognizing accomplishments of these churches might help break down prejudices and offer new insights for white churches, which seem to be caught in a loop of discovering the same things from the same sources. Learning how African-Americans respond to faith is key to understanding how various approaches operate in developing church leadership. The following eight concepts are explored: leadership, discipleship through transformed lives, worship, evangelism, family (generational blessing), holistic stewardship, serving community, and life-changing relationships. Known for his statistical surveys and analysis work, Barna combines such findings with an exploration of best practices in operation today. These are then overlaid with historical context and reflection that explains the “why” and “how” these approaches are producing vitality in African-American churches. For a realistic picture of how these work, an appendix offers a model church for each one. These six to eight page summary entries provide congregational and pastoral history plus explanation of the best practices they have discovered. This source would be helpful to any church, black or white, that is searching for methods to infuse vitality and impact into its ministry.