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Outgrowing the Ingrown Church

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This is a book for pacesetters -- church leaders who desire to help their churches break free of the things that turn them in on themselves and keep them from being outward-looking and outward-moving communities of Jesus Christ. The ingrown church is a common phenomenon. It is the "norm" for contemporary evangelical and Protestant churches. But ingrownness is a pathology. ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 25th 1986 by Zondervan
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Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Very dated. Felt like I was in the middle of all the exciting church discussions in the 80's. But some helpful, practical, and inspiring advice and stories throughout.
Duke Revard
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ecclesiology
In my Top #3 on Practical Ecclesiology. Great insights here.
Joel Zartman
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are moments when this book reminds me of reading a spiritual classic. It is surprising for its emphasis on repentance, on prayer, on being committed to preaching and meditating on God’s word. It is quite a fervent book. There was a time in my life when I would not have given a book like this a second glance, mostly because it is a book about wanting more. That is no longer the case. I have been forced to read the literature written for pastors, after years of attending seminary, at last, ...more
Johnmark Battaglia
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books

Outgrowing the Ingrown Church is a book for church leaders who are willing to do whatever it takes to see their church thrive in devotion to Christ and his mission. Like many pastors and lay leaders, Miller once reached a point where he was burnt out on the church. After pouring his life into his church for many years he became disgusted with the apparent apathy and love of comfort saturating the church culture. He was particularly discouraged over the lack of
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an older published book, but it was recommended on the Revitalize and Replant podcast with Thom Rainer. Because I am interested in ways to help grow our church, I decided to take a look atOutgrowing the Ingrown Churchby C. John Miller (published in 1986). This book is older than I am, but its truths are valuable and timeless for the church.

Miller wrote this book after going through a disappointing period in his ministry; he took time away to study God's Word. What he found is what he
WTSreads -
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: pastors

Jack Miller’s Outgrowing the Ingrown Church is a book that I think every Christian can benefit from reading, but I would especially recommend it to pastors or other ministry workers. In it, Miller applies biblical principles to the problem of churches that are “introverted”, not in the personality sense, but in the strictly inward-looking and ignoring the outsider sense. The tools that Miller prescribes are simple: repentance, prayer and hospitality. The pastor as a pacesetter must lead by
Will Turner
Miller, John C. Outgrowing the Ingrown Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1986, 1999.

Where’s the focus of your church? A church’s gaze matters. Is your church an inwardly or outwardly focused church? The focus of your church ultimately ends up shaping the character, identity, and mission of the church.

Identity shapes mission (42). This is essential. If we are the redeemed, accepted, and separated people of God then we are created for a purpose. Who we are shapes what we do. Our missionary
David Westerveld
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
While keeping in mind that there are some leanings and influences that come out in this book which I suspect I would have disagreements with when fleshed out in more detail, I have to say that this book has really stimulated my thinking in a lot of ways. If we want to be a part of church that isn't a navel gazing church, it's not knowing the things to do that are so hard, it's actually getting down the business of living a life of faith that isn't scared to take some risks for the sake of ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you’re thinking about this book, don’t.

Just get it and Thank me later!

Great book! I wished I had read this before so many other books on church leadership and structure. Seriously, might be the best, short book on the subject. I also see where Keller and others have been influenced by one as unassuming as Miller.

Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the outside, this looks like a run of the mill church growth book. But open it up and you'll find a fantastic read about church revitalization and looking outward with the power of the gospel to change peoples' lives. A bit dated at times, but Jack Miller's writing style is engaging and invigorating.
Jay Simmons
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
We read this as a core group 15 years ago when we were planting our first church. It helped us set the pace for being a church that existed for the city and not for ourselves.
Brian Whited
Dec 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: gospel
Jack Miller is writing a book to inform pastors on how they can reorient a dying or stagnating church outward and instead toward the world. Many churches have become so focused on themselves, that they have failed to realize that the world is in need of solid churches that will win people to Christ. Jack’s main proposal for this change comes through the motivation of pacesetters or people in the church that will lead the church congregation with strong leadership, faith, and sacrifice. The main ...more
Bo Cogbill
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I have so much disdain for church growth books that it took me years to read this, even though it had been recommended by several men I trust. At times this wreaked of one - complete with catchy phrases, idealistic stories of great men of faith presented as the standard for evangelism and four-step methods for growing your numbers. Ugh.

That being said, the gospel was held in high regard, and the atoning work of Christ was central, and that always leaves plenty of room for repentance, for
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is intended for pastors and church leadership but is a great read for anyone in an American church. He calls an ingrown church a "membership club" for those believers with the right spiritual credentials. How true this analogy is! The author did not come at this as one who was passing judgement on the church but rather as one who made these mistakes himself, became convicted of his errant thinking, and sought God's wisdom to change. He lays out some very practical ways to shift focus ...more
Joe Cassada
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
While I would not agree with Miller on many things he teaches via his Sonship program, this book is saturated with a biblical view of sin and justification. Miller writes with refreshing humility and passion. This book is what I would call a "pushing the reset button" book - a helpful and well written reminder of what the mission of the church is, and how pastors can recover it for their local congregation.

Buy the book just for his recommended reading list featured at the end of every chapter.
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a helpful and practical book regarding pacesetting leadership in developing a Church ministry which is actively pursuing the fulfillment of the Great Commission. I highly recommend this book, and have studied it with the leadership of the Church I am serving.
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ministry, missions
This was a fantastic book--will be painful reading for many pastors and church members, but Miller shares inspiring stories and practical wisdom for breaking out of the "ingrown" and "inward-looking" church.
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians in ministry
Very helpful, practical and challenging. We who often say that we believe in the Holy Spirit and the power of God function in ministry as though He doesn't exisit. This book exposes that tendency in us and gives the solution for the problem as well.
Oct 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a great, thought-provoking book. Miller is a bit repetitive as an author, but he is persuasive, passionate, and Scriptural.
Steve Hemmeke
Jul 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Diagnosis: excellent. Prognosis: okay
Seth Channell
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So much truth! This book will challenge you and give you hope.
Matt Moran
VERY 1980s, but there is still much here that is timeless.

A call to repentance and faith that God is able and that the Great Commission is for us today.
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Believe the power of the gospel and be a gospel-driven church
Bruce Gimbel
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Dec 11, 2017
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Nov 28, 2013
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Dec 08, 2019
John Clayton
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Aug 02, 2013
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