By Polly House
For the second year in a row, a LifeWay Research publication has been named to the 2010 Golden Canon, an annual recognition from LeadershipJournal.net of the top-rated books for church leaders.
"Transformational Church," written by Ed Stetzer, vice president of research and ministry development at LifeWay Christian Resources, and Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay, is named as one of the top five books in the "Leader’s Outer Life" category. LeadershipJournal.net is part of the Christianity Today family of publications.
Last year, "Lost & Found," written by Stetzer, Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes received the distinction. [See ‘‘Lost and Found’ named to 2009 Golden Canon]
"Having our research books named to this great list two years in a row is certainly noteworthy and rare; we’re grateful for the recognition," Stetzer said. "More than anything, however, is the affirmation that LifeWay Research is studying and interpreting the issues that are so important to the church today."
"Transformational Church" is based on a study – one of the largest projects of its kind – by LifeWay Research from thousands of churches and multiple denominations. The book was released in June 2010 by B&H Publishing Group and is a centerpiece for LifeWay’s Transformational Church initiative.
"Transformational churches make disciples whose lives are being transformed by the gospel so that the culture around them is ultimately transformed," Stetzer explained. "Transformational churches are deeply committed to the essential foundations of discipleship: worship, community and mission. They practice and make disciples through vibrant leadership, prayerful dependence and relational intentionality, and they do so in their context with a missionary mindset."
Rainer added that LifeWay’s Transformational Church initiative is designed to accentuate what God is doing in local churches. "Our research has shown us that positive change is taking place and we want to share this encouraging data with churches at all levels of effectiveness," he said.
"Transformational Church" spotlights three reasons the church in American has, in many respects, lost hope: lack of focus, opposition from without and dissension from within.
But the book reveals that many churches are passionate about the gospel and thriving as a result.
"The most important message is that churches are being transformed, and they are actively engaged in the transformation of people and communities," said Rainer. "We’ve often highlighted the negative realities of the declining church in America, but we should not miss the opportunity to magnify the God of hope and transformation."
Rainer said, "Ed and I are grateful that LeadershipJournal.net has chosen ‘Transformational Church’ as one of the books on its Golden Canon list. Our hope and prayer is that as churches take in the information, they will be able to look at their own situations objectively. We want to see them move from where they are now to a place where transformation of their people and programs happens consistently."
More information about "Transformational Church" is available at TransformationalChurch.com.
Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!