What? You still read?

Alright, I said in January that I was going to read at least one book a week. Had I stayed on course, this means I would have finished 14 books. This is my 3rd...
Things are piling up.
But do not fear! I have in fact just now finished my third book of the year. Truth be told, I didn't even really intend to read it. This was one of those Amazon shopping trips that said "Hey, the cover of that book they're recommending to me looks kind of cool. I'll get that." Obviously I'm a very complex and well researched reader. 
Dave Browning is the pastor of a collection of Churches called Christ the King Community Church. I say collection of Churches because Browning has created a very effective (from the sound of things) multi-church movement, rather than having one big mega church. The premise of the book is that the mega church actually leaves people feeling cold and left out, and often gets too tripped up in leadership bureaucracy before they can effect any substantial change. Browning suggests ditching all that in favor of a much more simplified church (as should have been painfully obvious by the title). The whole book seems to be an incredibly well written and well thought out rendition of the KISS principal. (Keep it Simple Stupid)
Things I Liked:
CTK Church really has it's priorities well identified and sorted. They are all about seeking out and saving the lost, and Browning has outlined three ways they seek to do this. I won't give away his whole game plan on my very free blog, because this is certainly a book worthy of your purchase. Go to Amazon. Do it now.
I really liked his dedication to small groups. As we are continuing to figure out how we're going to enact this plan of ours for next year, I found his insights into the world of small groups really helpful. Westminster is by no means a "mega church", but there are 1700 members here. It would be nice if we would be attentive to making such a big thing feel a little bit smaller. I think that this applies to our youth ministry as well, as Browning argues it's much easier for someone to join something small and fit in than it is to try to assimilate into a bigger church group where you may not know anyone at all.
(You are here)
Browning laces stories from the business world throughout the book which support and back up his claims for the church. In my mind, this is one of the best ways we can "be in the world but not of it." If outside groups are being successful at selling products like hamburgers, shouldn't we apply similar principals to selling the salvation of people's souls? 
In this  time of planning for us, it was also particularly helpful to learn about solving problems by subtracting the over-done rather than adding to something. This has been a theme that has been going on in my head for a while the last few weeks, and so it was really reassuring and beneficial to have someone affirm that for me. 
Browning also has a vision of the Church which seems to come heavily from the first couple of chapters of Acts, where we are given a vision of how the Church looked in it's infancy years. I have always been fascinated by that model for the Church, and Browning seems to have found some wonderful ways of translating that into our post-modern context. 
Some things I didn't like:
Towards the end of the book, at lot of the ideas that had been written about previously started to come back again, often times in very similar wordings. I'm not wild about 200 page books that could just as easily have been 150 page books and conveyed the same message. Maybe it wasn't 50 pages of repition, but you get the idea.
I also felt at times as though this book was the field manual for CTK church. While there was a TREMENDOUS amount that I could pull out and put into my own ministry's use, I felt at times that Browning was focusing on things that were beneficial to CTK that might not translate well to other church settings (say, those of us who are in a denominational system). However, Browning owns up to that right at the beginning of the book, so it's pretty easy to look past that issue. 
This book has some outstanding insights, even if they may not all be translated well into your particular church setting. If you're willing to be creative, this book is a treasure chest of fresh ideas for today's ministry setting.
Go out and get yourself a copy today!!

More reviews later!