What must a congregation do to make a fresh start? A key ingredient is hope. Gary McIntosh, president of Church Growth Network and professor at Talbott School of Theology, offers a well-presented and easy to understand blueprint for a journey of hope for discouraged congregations. The journey includes seeking out the potential and then making the necessary commitment to lead. What follows is a process of assessment, discernment of God’s vision, building a leadership coalition, and making hard decisions. McIntosh is a realist. He knows that congregations must be both equipped for change and that resistance is to be expected. He offers practical advice for dealing with the resistance and seeing ideas through. Each chapter includes helpful study questions for small groups. Two appendices are included, one dealing with rebirthing a church, and one dealing with church mergers. Both are helpful. This work will be helpful to both mainline and evangelical congregations.
Reviewed by Brian Witwer