Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Blessed Church – By Robert Morris

Learning from the best is always a wise thing to do! Whether you like that person or not, people who have achieved a certain level of success warrant a certain level of attention. Robert Morris is one of these men within the church leadership circles.

The Blessed Church is a handbook for the modern church leader. The whole thesis behind this book is that church growth is a result of church health, the only way to sustain healthy continuing growth is to create a healthy church. That’s an obvious statement, yet so profound.

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Robert Morris declares that the church he Pastor’s, Gateway is a healthy church. After reading The Blessed Church, I can only agree! The book takes a practical look at every aspect of the principles, foundation, structure and DNA of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX.

While I never really had a light shining huge revelation moment while reading this book, I just couldn’t out it down. This is pure wisdom, pure practicality and pure Jesus all wrapped into one. The wisest statements are so often the most obvious and while I learned a few things about church leadership and being a shepherd of a church of people, the most overwhelming thoughts that came to me as I read this book was, that’s why my church is falling flat in this area, or that is why we are excelling in this other areas, because we have systems of health or unhealth!

Any Pastor, no matter your view on church and leadership should pick this up! If I was to plant a church again I would along with Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley make everyone of our launch team read this book. Why? Because church health result in church growth, and ultimately every pastor wants their church to grow and I believe this book will help it grow numerically, financially and spiritually!

My favorite chapters were the ones on their Pastor, Staff & Elder structure and also church government. To be honest if I know church government was in this book I’d probably have skipped right by it, but Morris’ take on it is so refreshing that it immediately made me want to hold a board meeting (well not quite, but you get my drift!).

Robert Morris may, and sometimes does come across as a little full of himself at times, and to the outsider this maybe a turn off. Yet, after reading this book, I realize that Robert Morris isn’t full of himself, but full of the confidence of who God has created him to be, and that is a huge difference. By the end of this book, this confidence is a little charming and very refreshing.

Thank you Robert for writing this book, it’s a handbook to learn and grow from!

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Crave: Wanting So Much More of God – By Chris Tomlinson

I recently read Crave: Wanting So Much More of God by brand new author Chris Tomlinson courtesy of Harvest House Publishers.

Chris is not a Pastor or even a major church leader, but he is a Christian just like you and me who deals with the same struggles you deal with regarding your walk of faith. Have you ever wondered why you find it so hard to pray? Or keep a constant habit of reading your bible? Have you ever been unsatisfied with the current condition of your God relationship yet every endeavor to better it falls flat on its face? Well, if you can answer yes to any of these questions (if you’ll be honest with yourself, you will answer yes) then you need to read this book.

Crave: Wanting So Much More of God is almost an autobiography of a man who takes a chance that most Christians would not even dare to be totally transparent about his life, his faith, his relationships and his personal habits. This book is so refreshing in that it is encouraging to know that I am not the only one who deals with the same struggles and inconsistencies concerning my faith. This isn’t the type of book that will encourage you with great stories of faith where thousands of lives are changed, but encouraging in the sense that Chris puts into words and tries to process those same questions I know you are struggling with today and will struggle with tomorrow.

If you crave more of God but have discovered that you just can’t live up to being a good old Christian I strongly recommend you get a hold of this book. Tomlinson shares the process he went through in discovering he couldn’t get close to God by trying to pray for hours each day, or by making sure he reads through the bible in three weeks, or by trying to follow all the rules, or by helping others in need. Chris discovers developing a deeper walk with God is all about relationship, to find out what this means you’ll have to read the book.

One of my favorite chapters was one called pager. Chris writes about an internal pager that goes off when he feels the impulse to talk to someone about his faith and the gospel of Jesus Christ; yet Chris constantly tries to ignore the pager and hopes it goes away. As I read this I was thinking, ‘been there and I still do that!’.

There were some great quotes in this book and here are a few that stood out to me:

  • I have developed inch deep beliefs about a mile-high God (p110)
  • Perhaps rules don’t create intimacy by themselves.Maybe they create space for intimacy (p125)
  • This is why I want to be 12 years old again -because to a child everything is big (p158)
  • The security of bondage can often seem easier than the anxiety of freedom (p169)
  • We must seek to satisfy our longings, the deepest cravings of the soul, by seeking the One who made us with a desire for him (p199)

If you crave God but realize your just not up to the standard, then get this book, be encouraged and join the ongoing conversation.

To get in on the conversation you can visit Chris’s blog at www.cravesomethingmore.org or follow him on twitter here or facebook here.

If you would like to read the first three chapters of his book click below.


Primal by Mark Batterson

Have you ever wondered what religion is all about? Have you ever found yourself asking questions about your faith and why life seems so complicated at times? It seems that over the years our lives get more complicated as we find more clutter. The passions and dreams we once had now seem to be buried under a pile of to do lists; lists of do’s and don’ts; and weekly duties and rituals that we can not even remember why we started them.

If this is you then may I recommend a book for you to read. It is entitled, ‘Primal ‘ A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity’ by Mark Batterson. The author of two great books, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson writes an equally challenging read but in a more mature and eloquent way.

Primal is all about digging beneath the hundreds of years of religious Christianity to find the core or primal meaning of what this faith is all about. Mark uses the illustration of the streets of Rome, where underneath are more buildings and streets that today’s Rome is built upon. Mark journeyed down into these underground tunnels and streets where the inspiration of Primal began.

As Mark takes us on an adventure to find the core meaning of the Christian faith you can not help but want to stand shoulder to shoulder with him and spark a new ‘reformation’ that will take the church and its members back to a place of pure Christianity.

Mark Batterson uses science, humor, personal stories, history and great thinkers and innovators of our time to illustrate what Primal Christianity is all about and why the Church needs to be on a quest to seek and find it. This is a book that will get you thinking but will also challenge your beliefs, traditions and focus on life.

If you call yourself a Christian this is a must read. If you are seeking truth and enlightenment you need to read this book to get a clear pure view of the faith called Christianity; and if you are someone who is sick and tried of religion and religious people then pick this book up and feel the liberation of knowing that the God of this universe is not demanding religion but is seeking a pure and primal love that only you can give him and he can give you.

If there is one book to read in 2010 it is Primal. Make it the first book you read of the New Year and I promise you that 2010 will be a year where your view and outlook on life and faith will be changed forever.

You can buy this book from any book retailers. To pre-order click here.