A New Kind of Big is about the journey of one rather innovative church, and how their philosophy and model of ministry could be a blueprint for other churches that want to increase their impact in their community and world. Located in the Atlanta area, Perimeter Church realized that they needed to have a more tangible impact on their community. Through a process of discernment, they came to the conclusion that partnering with people and organizations could best serve their community and world. A New Kind of Big does an excellent job of telling the Perimeter story, and by sharing the organizing principles behind their community outreach ministry, others can follow their example.
Chip Sweeney is the author of A New Kind of Big, and is a person who is passionate about being the hands and feet of Jesus outside of the four walls of the church. After years of mission-driven youth ministry, he became the director of Perimeter Church’s Community Transformation Ministry. Instead of seeking to start hundreds of small outreach ministries, the church realized it was best to join God in what he was already doing around them. So as the church sought to have an impact in specific neighborhoods and communities, they sought to partner with people who were already equipped to do the ministry. In some cases, this meant being more intentional in leveraging relationships they already had. In other cases, it meant forging new relationships with leaders where they were seeking to have an impact. The impact on the church and the community through the Community Transformation Ministry has been nothing short of amazing.
The book has much to commend. It advocates for networking and partnering a church’s ministry and community outreach. In an age where so many churches are out to build a bigger and better church than the congregation across town, this attitude is refreshing to hear. It gives a model for a church to transition from an “attractional” model to a “missional” model. It focuses the church on building the kingdom of God where the Spirit is working. It offers a decentralized model of community outreach instead of the pyramid scheme of power and control that most churches use.
Yet, I find some things about the book unrealistic. A New Kind of Big implies in the subtitle (How Churches of Any Size Can Partner to Transform Communities)and throughout the book that they are offering a model for all churches to have an impact regardless of size. While I believe that networking and partnering are important for churches regardless of size, I don’t believe it would be easy for many small churches to replicate what this book advises in a way that looks similar to Perimeter.
All in all, this was an exciting book. I hope many people read it and dream about what God can do through their churches when they don’t have their ministry centered around their buildings and programs, and don’t care who gets the credit for their church’s ministry and impact. – Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
A New Kind of Big tells the inspiring 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 bringing incredible kingdom transformation to Atlanta.
You too can discover the power of this "new kind of big" to pool your resources, energy, and time with other churches to minister to your community--no matter how long or short your membership roll.