Friday, May 21, 2010

Review of Change Your Church For Good by Brad Powell

Brad Powell openly shares the story of NorthRidge Church in the Detroit area, weaving it with his personal pastoral story of leading that congregation through significant change in Change Your Church For Good.

Powell's aim is to motivate Christian leaders to intentionally embrace change that would lead to the church becoming more relevant, a source of authentic hope in the community.

As to its potential influence, I think Change Your Church falls short of that ambition. The writing is sincere and passionate, but lacks insight or ideas that reach beyond the personal experience and observation of Powell. There is a scratch the surface quality to analysis and implementation of transformation.

Too often it reads like a personal journal and yet, it does testify to the blessing of boldness and some of the costs of active leadership.

Overall the work is burdened with tremendous redundancy and the first section is vague, generally and subjectively (no outside resources or research cited at all) describing a problem--making the same points again and again.

The heart of the book points to some valued insight, for example Powell's communication strategy of "Great heritage, great future." This effectively shows the power of connection people to concepts which inspire change.

I kept returning to the question: "who and how would this work really help"? I can't answer that confidently. I suppose if a leader sees a need for change and wants the encouragement of one who has traveled through major transition, then it could motivate that pastor to step out in practical faith.

Powell's passion for creating a culture that reaches out instead of serving in runs through every chapter. His faithful enthusiasm is a joy to share, in spite of organization and writing weakness.



  1. I find that same failing with many "how-to" books out there: lots of personal perspectives, little true guidance. I prefer an actual plan or at least a suggestion of one; e.g., Here are definitive steps to take. Otherwise a text is basically a type of memoir or other life-writing and should be marketed (titled) as such.

  2. So true, Ellen. I struggled with this, it is my first review and I did not want to be negative. This book could have been much richer with some additional objective research and analysis. He took his journal/blog and got it published. What is really disappointing is this is a revision--where are the editors?



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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?