Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Review: Multi-Site Church Road Trip

First, let me say that this book has very good information contained in it.  It truly gives the reader a picture of the various types of multi-site churches and also gives a picture of the different ways that multi-site churches can come into being and exist.

I want to list the things that I really liked first:

(1)  Application to my own context:  Anyone who is looking at multi-site or multi-venue worship/churches will find this book informative.  I particularly found Chapter 11:  Merger Campuses-No Longer a Bad Idea as it gave me some great information and insight into mergers which my church is currently in the process of.

(2)  The ending of the chapters usually has a section where the authors ask poignant questions that cause the reader to reflect on their own situation and how that chapter might apply to their life as a church and where God may be calling them.

(3)  The book is 100% a great reference and connectional point to give you information on churches that are multi-site and where they are located.  Whatever your church situation may be you will be able to find someone who has probably been in a similar situation as a church or has gone the direction you are hoping and this book will help you find that church and give you the information to connect directly with the source.

(4)  There were little sections in the book that really helped like page 150-151 with a section called "What Makes a Great Campus Pastor?"  These sections (highlighted within different chapters) contained great information that would give practical information to leaders of churches looking at possibly moving into a multi-site existence and what they might need to look for.

Now on to some things that I feel could have made the book better:

(1)  While the authors intend for the (meant to be funny) statements and pseudo-conversation with the reader about food to be a binding part of the story, I personally found them to be annoying and distracting and really they didn't serve any purpose (outside of being "cutesy")

(2)  The "road trip" actually didn't always give the reader an in-depth look at the church listed as the intro  church and focus of the chapter.  This I found extremely annoying because the church highlighted with information in the intro to each chapter was sometimes only used as a brief jumping off point to talk about a certain type of multi-site church.  For example Chapter 7: Fun with Technology highlights North Coast Church (Vista, California) as the church "visit," but in reality most of the chapter focuses on (Oklahoma).  The chapter was informative but the structure is very misleading as North Coast Church didn't play a prominent role in the chapter really at all.

(3)  That brings me to my third point.  I haven't read the authors first book The Multi-Site Revolution and this may play a part in my take, but this book seems like it would have been better if it had focused more in depth on 3 or 4 churches.  Practically speaking, played a role in a majority of the chapter and really was the main focus of 3 or 4 chapters, which is fine but I personally would have felt the book would have been better if it had just intentionally focused on for 1/3 or 1/4 of the book.  (just my own tastes in terms of structure and alignment)

In the end this book is a very good informational book for anyone who might be looking at multi-site (or multi-venue) existence.  It may not flow and focus like some of the books I am used to, but the information contained in the chapters makes up for that and makes it a worthwhile read (if only to really have a compact resource of connections so one could learn from others).

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