Book Review: Overcoming Barriers to Growth (Michael Fletcher)
This was one of the first books I read when we were stuck at our first growth barrier. This book was incredibly helpful from a structural point of view. As I read the first chapter, it was like reading about our own church. His insights to barriers for church planters was right on. What we needed to change was not so much about programs or how we did things, but was our leadership structure!
When we first started Crossroads Church, everyone pitched in to do everything. We didn’t have the luxury of having different leaders for different areas of ministry. But as a church grows, that core group begins to really struggle to find identity in the church. Often what you have is a “committee” of people who have “been there from the beginning” sitting around trying to make decisions together. That is death for a church. That picture is the absence of leadership.
After spending over half a year praying about how to move us beyond our growth barrier, God gave me an incredible thought. Leaders should lead something. Duh! Light bulbs went off. At that point, I restructured our leadership so anyone who was a key leader in the church was going to be leading something. It was one of our first moves to breaking through our growth barrier and set us up to move beyond the 2nd growth barrier defined in this book!
I really recommend this book to any pastor (especially a church planter) who might be dealing with early growth barriers. Other leaders in the church might also find it helpful to understand what it will take on their part to help the church to grow. I ordered and gave everyone one of my leaders a copy of this book so we could overcome barriers to growth together.