When Chip Sweeney’s (Next Gen and Community Transformation Pastor at Perimeter Church in Atlanta) new book by this title hit my desk, I was immediately intrigued. After all, in my work with Leadership Network, I spend lots of hours every day engaged with leaders that provide direction for large churches … like the Perimeter where Chip serves. Would this be a treatise on how the large church should look for ways to “get small?” Or perhaps it would be a perspective on maintaining the pace in a rapidly growing church.
What I found instead was a book devoted to community transformation. The sub-title “How churches of any size can partner to transform communities” tells the real story. A New Kind of Big tells the story of how Perimeter Church in suburban Atlanta started a partnership called Unite! with other area churches in order to increase its reach in a community that desperately needed God’s light and aid. This partnership has grown to a network of nearly 150 churches that are brining incredible transformation to Atlanta.
Early on the text, Chip says, “The problem with the church is not its size (or rather, the size of its gatherings); the problem with the church is its reach. When you suspect that the church has minimal or even non-existent influence, that’s what provokes your heart. Isn’t it?” Convicting!
What reach does your church have for the Gospel? What reach do you have for the Gospel?
Check out A New Kind of Big for conviction, encouragement and tools to increase your and your church’s reach.