I joined the team at Canyon Ridge in 2012. From the very beginning I felt great alignment with the thinking of Doug Parks, then an executive pastor at Canyon Ridge (and my boss). I've always believed that every ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results they are currently experiencing, and Doug was steadily developing a more and more keen understanding of how to implement an operating system that clarifies vision, improves decision making and stimulates growth.
I didn't know it was going to happen, but Doug eventually left the staff and joined with like-minded co-conspirator Bart Rendel to form Intentional Churches, an organization dedicated to helping churches double their kingdom impact in 5 years. Over the last 8 years Doug and Bart (along with a growing team of collaborators) have helped hundreds of churches, while developing "a growth system that is rooted in biblical principles, tried and true tools, and is applicable to any church. It translates well in any context or denomination and becomes a leadership and operating system you can use for years to come. It always produces alignment, courage, and a fearless desire to move forward."
A few weeks ago Bart and Doug published Intentional Churches: How Implementing an Operating System Clarifies Vision, Improves Decision-Making, and Stimulates Growth. An example of their genuine commitment to their mission, they're essentially giving away their very valuable learnings, insights and practices to advance the Kingdom!
I love this book! While the preface and introduction give the backstory, the meat of the book includes the key assumptions, the fundamental insights and constructs that drive their work! If you want to learn to transform the real impact of your church, Intentional Churches is the resource you ought to be digesting right now.
There are many books that are worth reading for a single idea (or a few ideas). I'll often read the first few pages and skim the rest looking for one takeaway that will make the purchase (or the time spent reading it) a worthwhile investment. Not the case with Intentional Churches. There really are too many immediately applicable takeaways to list.
But let me give you an example. Chapter 7 is worth way more than the price of the book! Covering the development of an engagement pathway, this is no overview from 30,000 feet. This is an in-the-trenches look at the assumptions that underpin the concept and the principles that make a great engagement pathway work. A very detailed example is built in to the chapter. Tips on implementation (based on actual work) are included. And the chapter ends with two real-life stories from churches that have done the work.
Chapter 7 is just one example (the book is literally jammed with extremely valuable insights and takeaways). This is a book that will end up underlined, highlighted, starred, and dog-eared. Your copy will end up just like mine (and I've invested in their facilitator training and spent the last 5 years coaching churches to implement the operating system).
Full disclosure. Doug and Bart are my friends. But that's not why I'm recommending Intentional Churches. Their understandings and insights are extremely valuable. Apply them diligently, rigorously, and whole-heartedly to your church and watch what happens! Intentional Churches is a game-changer in the highest-stakes game ever played.
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