The bottom line: An opinionated but candid and insightful look into a pastor’s hard lessons learned. Many practical nuggets.
Books on church building and the pastoral life can be quite dull, sugar-coated, or unnecessarily flowery.
In Confessions of a Reformission Rev. Mark Driscoll opens up and is completely honest with readers as he recollects the triumphs and the abysmal mistakes he made in leading a small church of less than 50 to one of more than 4,000 in one of the most church-adverse environments in America.
Many of the things the author did were well intended but failed miserably or set the stage for larger headaches down the road. Driscoll gives you prescriptions on how to do better.
The book starts with “Ten Curious Questions” that simultaneously define what the purpose of the church is in Biblical terms, and clarifies how many contemporary church models diverge from this paradigm. In particular, reformission seeks to answer how Christians working through the church can effectively be missionaries to their local communities. This missionistic approach is a key differentiation point in Driscoll’s formula in how the church is supposed to look, act, and feel, and this organizing principle is the core ethos upon which the rest of his book is built. The chapters then proceed tracing the story from a start-up church of less than 45 people to a “megachurch” of a few thousand. Each chapter corresponds to a particular membership number of Driscoll’s church, and as the number of members increase, so do the challenges and the types of things leaders in the church have to deal with.
Although the author labels his congregation an “Emerging Missional Church,” the book builds atop solid Biblical principles that can be applied to any church or any denomination. Of note, Driscoll is frequently sarcastic and brutally honest throughout the text. He writes what he really thinks, and I think this sincerity adds to the book’s practical value. This no-holds-barred approach certainly will offend many but the underlying message remains solid.
Confessions of a Reformission Rev. is written like an autobiography and the stories and anecdotes keep it moving quite rapidly (I read it on one sitting). If you are in a leadership position in your church or desire to steer your congregation in a new direction, you will likely enjoy this book and appreciate its honestly and wisdom. A should-read for anyone who dreams of going out into the world and spreading the good news of Jesus to all those who will hear.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal