This book did change how we are doing church. It surprises me to say so. I read it by accident. I'd never have picked it up on my own. Here's a quick summary:
1. Each month is themed from a Classic Scripture (one everyone knows about and should read for themselves). And all themes fit into our four basic mission pieces -- Love God, Love People, Serve Locally, Serve Globally. This month's theme is Blind Obedience and the story of Abraham. Next month is Forgiving Abuse and talking about Joseph. March is The Cross. These are simpler stories than I have been using. These are the basics, though they are tremendously deep.
2. Twice a month - home groups meet. We started three. I think this is the actual key to the whole thing. Not so much that home groups are the key, but that the three people I would pick as reproducible leaders all said "yes" to leading a group. They meet with me weekly and are both the leaders of the church and the leaders of dynamic home groups. Two of them are also highly involved -- one locally and one globally. The other is an older man who provides maturity and stability and encouragement to our leadership.
3. Monthly Community/Global Focus -- this month it was our New Life for Haiti Banquet. February is a Men's conference on Fatherhood that one of our guys has put together. March is a fundraising for a scholarship for a graduate of the high school for behavior disorder kids. I highlight the daylights out of these events.
4. I've made bookmarks with specific Bible readings for the congregation. They need to read 10-20 chapters per month. Very doable was my goal.
5. The first Sunday of the month is followed by a potluck lunch.
6. The youth groups have picked up on these themes as well. I suggested it to them, but also told them it may be too much to ask.
I'm writing this more for me than for you. In other words, I'm not telling you how to do it, rather I'm reflecting on what just happened. I'm as amazed as anybody.
A couple of questions arise.
1. Why didn't I do this earlier? I don't know. I think its too simple.
2. What was the key to it happening this time? I don't know. I would say the three leaders being available. I've invested in leaders since the beginning, but I've seen little to no reproduction. Could be right place, right time.
3. Could this work in other churches? I don't know. I think a lot of things can work if you have reproducible leaders and you put them in a position to reproduce.