Read Brandon Guindon’s review of Church Is a Team Sport by Jim Putman to help you decide about using it for your group.
In this post, Brandon Guindon and I review Jim Putman’s book Church Is a Team Sport. You’ll get the main message of the book, Brandon’s three biggest takeaways, and vital information about using this book in a group.
Brandon is an author himself. He’s written the HIM Publications book Disciple-Making Culture among several other discipleship books. He’s a coauthor of the Real Life Discipleship Training Manual, which has helped thousands of people with disciple making. Brandon is a church planter, and he’s the lead pastor of Real Life Texas.
The main message of the book: The heart and core of this book is in the title. It’s about how important it is to be unified as a team.
Brandon Guindon: This book is all about how to be working together within the church to accomplish what Jesus has called his church to do — to go make disciples. Church truly is a team sport, and that’s what this book draws us to.
It’s the heartbeat that you get from the book. Church becomes difficult when we’re siloed, when we’re a bunch of different ministries trying to go in different directions. People in the church need one central focus of what the church is to be. That’s really at the heart of this book.
Three Big Takeaways
Brandon Guindon offers his three biggest takeaways from Church Is a Team Sport.
1. Real Life People
The first takeaway is the story of Real Life, how it came together. I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of that.
This ministry is just average people. It’s a group of people that God used to come together to build a church. It wasn’t these all-star people — they were simply trying to be faithful to what God asked us to do.
Another way of framing this takeaway is that you can do this. You can be a part of God’s kingdom and build a church that successfully makes disciples. It’s possible.
2. A Strategy to Bring Your Team Together
If you feel disjointed in your church, then there’s likely a lot of silos. It’s an individual-focused mindset.
Jim Putman provides a really good strategy to bring that team together and unify as a group.
3. Motivation to Move Your Church Forward
In Jim’s language, we’re hitting the field together; we’re getting out of the locker room, going out, and playing the game.
The church isn’t just some kind of holy huddle. We’re not just in the building. This book really motivates us to go. We need to get out into our community. We need to empower people in our church to go use the gifts that God has given to them, to be a player and not just a fan.
How to Use Church Is a Team Sport With Your Group
I think the primary ones who should read this book are staff, elders, and volunteers in the church.
But I think it’s a great encouragement to people who are in the church to really look at it and go, “I can go with folks from my small group, and we can go minister out in the community.” This book encourages all groups within the church — from church attenders to church leaders — that we can do this together as a team.
I would encourage churches to have their leadership read it first and get unity. But I think it would be great to have the whole congregation read it too. And I know that because so many churches I’ve talked to have done that with this book and have seen really positive results from it with bringing unity within their church.
There’s 19 chapters. There’s five parts. I recommend going through the major sections one at a time. Do one of the five sections per week. The book is a pretty quick read.
I think you could commit five to six weeks and be through the book. I would encourage staff at a church to read through it together.
Really take what it’s saying and allow it to challenge the paradigms that you have.
Vital Information About Church Is a Team Sport for Groups
- Chapter Count? 19 chapters
- Weeks of Study? 5–6 weeks
- Recommended size of group? 4–12 people
- Age of target audience? Adult
- Gender specific? No
- Reader difficulty? 4 out of 10
- Appropriate for New Believers? No
- What level of maturity does Church Is a Team Sport assume? This book assumes that readers are involved in church and want to be unified as the church toward God’s mission.
- Discussion questions in the book? Yes
- Homework required? No
- Video series available? No
Theology of Church Is a Team Sport
- Theological red flags? No
- Denominationally specific content? No
- Author’s preferred Bible translation? NIV
- Publisher? Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008
What Can Church Is a Team Sport Accomplish for Your Group?
- Provides a championship strategy for a vibrant church
- Demonstrates proven coaching strategies to inspire believers to grow as a team of Christians and leaders
- Helps you discover authentic discipleship that changes lives
- Equips every member of your church to be a motivated follower of Jesus
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