Bishop Hilliard’s experience in shepherding a strong growing congregation in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, has led to this book of guidance for church growth. While written from an African American perspective, his insights can work equally well for any Christian ethnic group. He begins with an analysis of healthy church growth including essential ingredients which he identifies as “three L’s: love, lift and liberate”. These lead to a call to a direct and forceful foundation for growth which include: vision, the centrality of Christ, biblical preaching, the priority of holy living, sound doctrine, people-oriented rather than program oriented, the importance of tithing, and sound Christian education. A helpful feature is the inclusion of a series of action steps at the conclusion of each chapter. Hilliard’s work is easy to grasp and highlighted by scripture references and many helpful words of wisdom and sound advice. It would be help both for clergy and other congregational officials.
Reviewed by Brian Witwer