Book Review – The Blessed Church

Generally speaking, I don’t like mega churches. I don’t like the attitude of mega church pastors, and I don’t like the books that those pastors write which inevitably make me feel inferior because the church that I pastor doesn’t have 53 people saved every Sunday morning and didn’t grow from 0 to 4000 members in 6 months. However, without knowing that Robert Morris pastors a multi-site mega church of 24,000 active members in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I began reading The Blessed Church. 

As Morris told the back story for the church and its phenomenal growth, I shuttered, hoping not to suffer from nightmares of Joel Osteen and Rick Warren.  I saw hints of that superior, uber-confident, I’ve-got-it-all-figured-out mega church pastor when I read about the vision of Morris had for the church. He writes, “I know these vision goals sound arrogant. But that’s the nature of God-given vision.” (page 53).

My heart sunk and I forced myself beyond any desire at all to continue reading when I read, “Over the years, the second most-consistent comment we’ve received from new members is this: ‘We are here because of our kids. We visited once, and they kept asking when we were going to get to go back to the ‘fun church.'” (page 55)

Excused arrogance? The fun church? Really?

However, about the time that Morris finished with the bulk of the phenomenal, miraculous growth pitch and started explaining the biblical principles that the Gateway Church follows, I found myself meditating more and disagreeing less.

Over and over I entered one word electronic footnotes after highlighting portions of the text in which I saw great wisdom.

“Interesting.”

One such example of this is when Morris explains part of the organizational structure of the church he pastors. He recognizes the common cry against adopting worldly business strategies into the living spiritual organism of the church and answers that critique by writing, “I would suggest that over the years businesses have stumbled upon godly principles through trial and error. It’s possible to follow biblical wisdom and not even realize it. If a certain approach is working in the world of business, we should stop and ask ourselves why.”

The Blessed Church won me over by expounding on biblical truths logically and faithfully. It deals with safeguards against pastoral burn-out, a well-thought out model of church government, and best of all includes a section on church culture.

Would I do everything that Robert Morris recommends in the Blessed Church? No, but I will prayerfully consider adopting some of these practical principles in our church. I would recommend any other pastor do the same also.

You may just have to try to get past to get past the mega church stigma in the beginning. I did.

In closing, I’d like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for providing me a digital copy of this book in exchange for this review.

 

Categories: book review, Church, God
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