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How Art Thou Great?

Building on the popular Good to Great concept, a hopeful new study finds a few churches that make the jump.

Of the 13 books professor and church growth expert Thom Rainer has written, Breakout Churches excites him most, he says. He's found a handful of churches that have been able to stem a decline without changing pastoral leadership. In business terms, they're "good to great" churches. In fact, Rainer based his research methodology on the study of dramatic business turnarounds reported in Jim Collins's popular book, Good to Great (Harper, 2001). Familiarity with that book isn't required to appreciate Breakout Churches, but it helps. Rainer refers frequently to Collins's research and strives to translate it for the church.

The book is not a study of great churches in general, but those rare congregations that had stagnated or declined for years, then turned around to experience evangelistic growth. Specifically, Rainer sought churches that broke out without changing leaders. He wanted to dismiss the idea that a church had to call a new pastor in order to ignite significant growth.

Of an estimated ...

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