And: The Gathered and Scattered Church
Author: Hugh Halter & Matt Smay
Publisher: Zondervan, 2010
The missional church is a popular topic of conversation in the church today. This ongoing conversation centers around a few questions: What is the church? and How do we do church? AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church is a part of this conversation. To be quite honest, I requested to be a part of this blog tour for selfish reasons, the church I work for is having this conversation with the members. Because of that, I am reading all kinds of books to see how we can best engage our context and answer some difficult questions.
It’s time for us to stop asking the same old questions about how to do church, and instead ask what every church must be doing to honor God’s biblical mandates. (26)
The authors propose that the church needs to go back to its missionary roots and the church needs to recover a missionary way of thinking. This is done in three phases: Engaging Culture, Forming Community and Structuring Congregation. These three phases are the same for church plants as well as established congregations, the order is just different.
The one chapter that stood out to me was the third chapter on consumerism in the church. It stood out to me because I’ve fallen into that consumer mentality on more than one occasion. Don’t like something about the church you attend? Find another one that caters to your needs. This mentality is damaging to the disciple making process. Leaders are so focused on attendance, that they play to the consumer mentality of the congregation. This needs to change if we want to make disciples.
While AND is geared more towards mission starts or mission plants, it does offer advice for churches that are already established within their neighborhood context. Because of that, AND is a great resource for new church planters as well as church leaders looking to focus on mission and make disciples. This book should be required reading for all mission developers/church planters, pastors, and church leaders involved with church vision.
I give this book a solid 4 stars.
I received this book free from Zondervan as a part of the AND Blog Tour. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”