Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (May 27, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #299,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #197 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church Growth #411 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church Leadership #817 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Pastoral Resources
In No Perfect People Allowed, John Burke discusses the issues that confronted he and his staff in creating and growing the Gateway Community Church in Austin, TX. As an interested observer of the Emerging Church movement and the faculty advisor for one of my college's campus ministry I was interested in what Burke would have to say about ministering to the present generation.After reading the book I was just amazed. First, I found the book's ideas about the struggles we all have with brokenness and aloneness deeply affecting and moving. As I read these chapters at 30,000 feet I was profoundly struck with mine and my generation's deepest needs from a faith and what it might mean to us. Second, I can't think of a single book that gets more "right" about what young people in our multi-cultural, hyper-tolerant society see and need in a Christian community. Week in and week out I see the situations and lessons played out in the campus ministry I actively advise and Burkes' perspectives and "talking points" have been tremedously helpful to me.One thing that I found very refreshing about the book is that Burke doesn't (at least in my opinion) shy away from difficult topics or leave out important theological considerations. In fact, his discussion of the theology of the trinity is one of the best I've read for explaining (if such a term can be used for the mystery of the trinity) how God can be one God and three persons.If you are interested in the intersection of "Church" and "Culture" and how some of the issues have been addresses and worked through I would recommend this book. If you are attempting to reach those who are identified as being part of the last two generations I would say that this book might be one of the most informative and helpful books you can read. Thanks to John Burke for sharing his experiences and acquired wisdom with those of us who are trying to reach the same people in search of an authentic community.
It's hard to believe a five star review these days when you see one. So many people give five stars to their favourite artists, authors or whoever, regardless of how good the product is. If there were some way of showing that this 'really is' a five star worthy book, then maybe it would get across just how valuable and fascinating it really is. I bought this book for my dad last Christmas, and now we know at least ten people who have a copy as a result of us insisting they get it. Most have said they couldn't put it down, and the same goes for me, even though I quite honestly can't stand reading books. John Burke not only thinks outside the square, but he has literally taken a journey outside the square, and that's what makes this book of true stories even more exciting. It's time for the church to take hold of what this book is all about, and I can't stress that enough. I'm part of a small group starting a new seeker church, and we are all reading through this book week by week, it has taken us in a direction that we may never have taken without it. I'm over what I used to think was 'church', and I'm happy it's behind me. I picked this book up by what I thought was chance during some Christmas shopping, boy was I in for a surprise!
John Burke, based on his own experience as the founding pastor of a church in Austin, Texas, provides what may be the first really practical 'text' on how to minister effectively to postmoderns. After a brief overview of postmodernism, Burke builds his book around five 'struggles' related to it: the struggles with trust, tolerance, truth, brokenness and aloneness. He does so in a very anecdotal style using examples from his pastoral experience. While the book is a very useful guide in how to evangelize and disciple postmoderns, by inference he accomplishes two significant gains: he provides evidence in why evangelicals should look at postmodernism more as an opportunity rather than a threat and he debunks the commonly-held notion that effective ministry to postmoderns must involve a rejection of seeker-sensitive and seeker-oriented methods. Burke obviously has not forgotten nor rejected his experience at Willow Creek.
A well written book with lots of great stories. It certainly causes one to think about doing church in a way very different from the way most churches I have attended. Most churches build barriers to keep sinners out. The author suggests that sinners are exactly the people Jesus would want to be in church.
We've been living in a new city searching for a church where we could invite any of our friends, regardless of their background, life situation, and past church experience (or lack of), without fear of putting them in an uncomfortable situation. A much larger order to fill than we had expected, because, as it turns out, many people are NOT comfortable in church--period! This book explains how that has come to be and why churches are struggling, but, most importantly, it demonstrates exactly how churches and ALL Christians can (and should) reach out to and meet the needs of an ultra-diverse population with diverse backgrounds, lifestyles and situations. This is NOT "watered-down Christianity" or "moral relativism"--contrarily, it is biblical Christianity in its best, purest, most powerful and effective (and user-friendly) form. For ANYONE interested in effectively reaching the seemingly unreachable. The author is incredibly engaging and easy to read, but be warned that the substance might just change your perspective on church and religion!
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