The Over-hyped Church? A Review of The Blessed Church by Robert Morris
I am not a fan of this book. Like many, it had some very helpful advice. It did remind me of things that I ought to be doing or doing more often. However, at times, I felt like Robert Morris had something against small churches and their pastors, seeing their size as evidence of lack of fruit and even giftedness or calling. While not a blatant emphasis, there seemed to be the undercurrent of the health and wealth (a.k.a. prosperity) gospel; that if your church is thriving, then you are doing what God wants and if not, then the reason you are not flourishing lies in your unfaithfulness or lack of stewardship.
I would say that the book is helpful if you are starting a church. All of the information and teaching on boards and the church’s organizational structure is fine if you are dealing with a ministry start-up or a church that is desperate to turn around. For everyone else, that whole section is pretty much wishful thinking to get accomplished.
Perhaps it is, as I believe, that Robert Morris is one of those uniquely gifted individuals whose combination of talents makes it easy for him to grow and sustain such a congregation of thousands in only 12 years of ministry. As is the case with many who are superbly charming, eloquent, disciplined and focused, he may not be aware of the obstacles to success that others confront. Therefore, certain methods appear to be the answer for everyone but the reality is that God gives each person a talent or talents and expects them to produce fruit accordingly. For a Robert Morris, the fruitfulness appears, and may in fact be, huge. Only eternity will reveal what is true fruit for us all. Through others, God accomplishes much less but still under the category of “much fruit.” I really do not believe that Robert Morris gets this.
Buy this book if you are a church planter or a turn-around specialist. Otherwise, it may be best to borrow this volume and read it for the nuggets of wisdom contained therein. Personally, I think that you can find a better resource for your church or ministry in another book by another author.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review