Multiplication Center

Day 1 of 18 to “Write” a Book

July 15, 2010


Stopwatch I’ve blocked out 18 workdays between today and September 1 to write the heart of a book. That’s a rather daunting challenge, but intense environments often work best for me. I’ll conclude many of my writing days with a blog featuring one insight I gained from that day’s research. (That’s why I’m posting here at our learings blog rather than our books blog.)


Today I’ll offer both an insight and also some background on the project. First the learning:

1.  Willow Creek’s REVEAL project  discovered that at about the five-year mark of church involvement, growing Christians began to find less and less help in their spiritual growth from church-sponsored programs, no matter how well they are executed. Our research found likewise: we saw a slowing of participation and growth the longer some people were at church. Our next step is to drill down on those long timers who say they have continued to grow. Stay tuned.

This writing project is for a book with the working title of “The Other 80%.” It explores how 20% got involved in their church and what pathways are likely to work best for engaging the remaining 80% of people who call a particular church their home. As with my other 23 published books ( I am co-authoring, this time with the Hartford Institute for Religion Research’s Scott Thomas ( as lead author. The book will come out in mid- 2011 through Leadership Networks line with Jossey-Bass (


Thumma-Scott-black-shirtBird-Warren-outdoor-2010bWhat issues would “you” like us to address in the book?

Warren Bird, Ph.D., is Research Director at Leadership Network, and co-author of 21 books on various aspects of church health and innovation. 

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