Making Friends, Making Disciples: Growing Your Church through Authentic Relationships
by Lee B. Spitzer
Reviewed by Clint Walker
Making Friends, Making Disciples is a book written as part of the Living Church series by my denomination (ABC/USA) designed to support and encourage effective congregational leadership. This book is the first book in the series, and after reading it, it sounds like the Living Church collection will be insightful and helpful for many pastors and lay leaders in churches.
Making Friends, Making Disciples draws on resources from philosophy, literature, as well as social science and scripture to make an argument for placing the formation and care for friendships as the foundation of powerful and effective ministry. In doing so he asses our need for friendships, especially in our current cultural context,
This book is full of great insight, It also has assessment tools in the back of the book to help individuals understand their history and circles of friendships.
This book is also challenging. As I read this book and considered the contents I asked myself, "Am I really that good at making friends? Am I capable of being the kind of minister this book describes? How do I as a pastor maintain healthy boundaries and still become close friends with people in the congregation I serve?"
In addition to these questions I was challenged to ask questions about our church, "When people enter worship, do they find a place where they can form friendships? Do our facilities make space for friendship?"
There is a lot to think about in this book. And a lot to grow with too.