Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review of Rebuilt

Book #11. Rebuilt, by Michael White & Tom Corcoran. Paperback.

This is an excellent “how to” resource for pastors and church leaders. The authors are a Catholic parish priest and a lay leader who realized that their parish “wasn’t working.” This book is the story of how they turned around Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland.

White and Corcoran stepped out of the “Catholic bubble” to attend evangelical church-growth seminars. This led them to the works of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. They even attended some successful mega-churches in their area to develop a blueprint for change that could work in their Catholic context. Some steps seemed simple, like making the church entrance more appealing and greeters more friendly.

Other changes were harder, and the authors are honest about their struggles, and about their failures. They spend a lot of time talking about their hiring strategy, including their mistake of filling positions too hastily as they were endeavoring to make changes. They also talk about the struggle of changing the entrenched culture of their own congregation.

The book explains how their process was rotted in Catholicism. The book certainly has quotes from Warren and Hybels and other evangelicals, but a number of Popes and other Catholic thinkers are also referenced. They also include ideas from management experts, such as Jim Collins and Seth Godin.

The mix of resources referenced in the book is a strength, as well as the authors’ transparency in discussing their experiences. No matter the organization, church or other, the principles presented in this book are worth considering.

Note: I heard of this book from Father Roderick, on a recent episode of his podcast The Break.

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