Faith News

Dr. Dean Taylor’s New Book, The Thriving Church, is a Valuable Resource for Everyone

What is the true measure of church growth? Who is responsible for the growth of the church? Dr. Dean Taylor’s new book, The Thriving Church, tackles those topics head-on and gives a heartfelt challenge to every believer to fulfill their role in the local church.

The Thriving Church is a 170-page blueprint that details what it means to have a thriving church and what it takes to get there. It is available for purchase on Friday, December 6, 2019, and is the first of what Dr. Taylor hopes to be many books that come from his pen in the years to come. As a former pastor of 25 years and the Chair of Pastoral Training at Faith Baptist Bible College, the topic of church growth is one he is passionate about.

“As a pastor, I was always looking for a biblical guideline of how to do church,” said Dr. Taylor. “I kept coming back to Ephesians chapter four, where there is a really clear set of instructions. The end of the passage talks about growth, and how the body brings growth.”

The book emphasizes topics of church unity, humility, spiritual gifts, and the fullness of Christ. Dr. Taylor purposely wrote the manuscript in simple terms, not in a highly academic or collegiate textbook style, with the goal of making it an easy read for all believers, with foundational biblical principles for everyone to follow.

“I wrote this to be accessible for any church member,” said Dr. Taylor. “A pastor or church leader would certainly benefit from it, but it’s also something that could be used by individuals, Sunday Schools, and small-group studies.”

The original inspiration to write on this topic started about eight years ago when a lady in Dr. Taylor’s church in South Carolina suggested he take some of his sermons and turn them into a book.

“I didn’t have a lot of time back then, so it never really materialized until the last five years or so,” said Dr. Taylor.

When the Taylors moved to Iowa to join the faculty at Faith Baptist Bible College, his schedule opened up during the summer months. After he made the decision to tackle the book project, he faced some of the same obstacles every writer faces in the book publishing process.

“Writing is labor,” said Dr. Taylor.  “Sometimes it is literally laboring over the next word. The discipline to keep going through that was probably the hardest thing.”

Throughout the writing and research process, Dr. Taylor grew in his love and appreciation for what God is doing in the church, for the way He has designed it to function, to grow, and to glorify Him.

“I didn’t get tired of it or run out of things to write about,” said Dr. Taylor. “Ephesians four is so rich and profound. I loved engaging in that.”

The Thriving Church is a source of encouragement for pastors who are in churches that are struggling, a source of motivation to keep the momentum going for those in churches that are thriving, and a source of conviction for all of us as members of the church body to do our part. Too often, we as Christians place the success or failure of a church squarely on pastors and the leadership of the church. As Dr. Taylor points out in his book, our churches should be growing and thriving because of the efforts of all of us, not just the pastor or leadership team.

Dr. Taylor will be leading a workshop at the 2020 Refresh Conference at Faith Baptist Bible College, January 28-31, called, “Can a Divided Church Thrive Again?” In this workshop, he will discuss many of the topics and principles that are written about in his book.

“These assertions may seem presumptuous,” says Taylor in his book, “but they are the conviction of my heart and the message of this book. More significantly, the basis for these claims is the Bible’s most detailed and complete description of organic life in the church. It’s not about having a great church or people noticing that our church is growing, but Christ being glorified in the church.”

The book is available through the publisher, Journeyforth.com, and through Amazon, Christianbooks.com, and the Faith Bookstore. The Thriving Church retails at the Faith Bookstore for $14 and there is currently a 20 percent discount through December 31. You can order online at fbbcbooks.com.