"Transformational Church" by Ed Stetzer, vice president of research and ministry development at LifeWay Christian Resources, and Thom S. Rainer, LifeWay's president, is included in the annual recognition by LeadershipJournal.net of the top-rated books for church leaders. Transformational Church 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.
"Lost & Found" by Stetzer, Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes received the distinction last year.
"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 large-scale LifeWay Research study involving 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 said. "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 ground: 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," Rainer said. "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, the book and the initiative, is available at TransformationalChurch.com.
Polly House is a corporate communications specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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