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Book Notes: Vital by Jorge Acevedo

Vital

I started reading this book on Friday around 7pm and 24 hours later I am finished, couldn’t put it down. I give the book 5 out of 5 stars and I would go so far as to say that every church, especially United Methodist Churches should study the contents of this book. The pastor along with Church Council and every committee should make the time to take a serious look at what Jorge has written.

Jorge Acevedo is the Lead Pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site, United Methodist congregation in Southwest Florida. Church attendance has grown from 400 to over 2,600 in the past 15 years.

Recently in The United Methodist Church we have been given a study called “Call To Action,” this book is written around the Call To Action and what Grace Church is doing to be a Vital Congregation. (Jorge Acevedo was part of The Call To Action Steering Team) The study shows that only approximately 15% of the 32,228 United Methodist churches (4,961 churches) scored high in vitality based on the vitality index. This means that 15% of our churches have figured out some way to remain highly vital in spite of the fact that 85% have not. It means that we cannot lay all the blame for our congregational demise at the feet of the institution of the church.

“It seems to me that many United Methodist leaders, both clergy and laity, are suffering from “blame transference.” They want to blame the bishop, district superintendent, pastor, lay leadership (or lack thereof), and yes, even God for their lack of faithfulness and fruitfulness in ministry.”

Five behaviors of highly vital congregations are examined in the book.

#1. Pastoral leadership that is growing spiritually and is deeply connected in accountable, Christian community.

#2. Lay leaders who are nurtured in their faith, equipped, and released into transformative ministry.

#3. The importance of worship that is transcendent, relevant, contextual, and excellent.

#4. The importance of building community through small groups.

$5. The essential practice of congregations engaging in local and global missions and outreach.

Jorge points out in the book that God has all through scripture used ordinary, flawed people to do great things for Him, and today in the church world,  God is still using ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

My final comment, we’ll said and well done Grace Church and Jorge Acevedo. Every church along with their pastor should study this book and take action. There is no reason or at least no good reason for a dying church.

Ronnie

no perfect people allowed (3)

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February 23, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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