by Bob Jackson
London: Church House Publishing, 2015
Reviewed by Mark Simon
I am including this book because (a) it is from the UK rather than America, and the majority of Australian Anglican churches are closer to British culture and church forms than to American culture and church forms, which are presupposed by most American church growth and renewal books; and (b) it provides an overview of the history of church growth and revitalisation trends, tools and themes seen in the UK over the last four decades, most of which have influenced Australian churches. It charts the church growth movement, the decade of evangelism, Alpha, Mission Action Planning, Mission- Shaped Church, Fresh expressions, missional church, messy church, Natural Church Development, church planting, amalgamations and ministry teams. It provides detailed discussion of what is working in the UK at the time of writing (2015) including families ministry, leadership-centred approaches, church planting, and shared ministry models. This is useful reading to set the scene for a church growth/ revitalisation project before diving into one particular consultation or product. Jackson provides numerous case studies and some solid data from UK about the effectiveness of various approaches.