An thought-provoking book by Peter Brierley has just appeared. Peter is known to many of us through the Brierley Consultancy which provides statical data on religious trends. Focusing on questions asked by God in scripture, it helps the reader think about the nature of vision, strategy and growth in church life and reflect on the kinds of ministry and leadership needed in today's church. What sorts of questions does God ask? 'Adam, where are you?' 'Moses, what's that in your hand?' 'Elijah, what are you doing here?' 'Amos, what can you see?' 'Ezekiel, can these dry bones live?' What kind of question might God ask you?
The book helps the reader to identify his or her place in the bigger picture, to clarify prioirities, understand strengths and, perhaps most importantly, to have the faith to believe that things can change. In his forward, John Drane describes the author as someone who writes 'always in the context of encouragement' and who 'understands the realities of the church.' The book is rather episodic but it did give me insights which helped me to think differently about church growth in the UK context. It contains ideas that you may be able to develop for yourself rather than a systematically argued approach.