The premise of this book is that the vast majority of American Protestant churches and para-church organizations have either plateaued or are declining in membership because they cannot or will not meet the vast sociological changes that confront our society. Anderson does three basic things: First, he explains the changes that are reshaping our society. Second, he lays out the spiritual and sociological changes the church now faces. Finally, he pervasively argues that the church must beet these challenges head-on in order to survive.
Although this is a well written book, it's real strength begins with chapter seven. It is in this chapter that he begins to detail how we should meet these changes. Perhaps the most insightful observation is the most obvious: change will occur whether we like it or not. The job of the church is to determine it's purpose, to separate the non-negotiables from the negotiables, and then make a decision and act.
I also appreciate his insight in his analysis of decision-making. There is a time to decide, but we tall tend to debate and procrastinate. Anderson lays it on the line when he says we should define the issue, get the facts, consider the alternatives, and then act.
This book does a fine job describing many of the cultural/generational factors facing churches in America today. Anderson highlights the perilous position many churches are in with regards to an ever evolving culture and a stagnated church, and emphasizes the neccesity of modifying our ministries to remain relavent, while at the same time preserving the orthodoxy of our doctrine. A helpful read for church planters but a vital resource for church leaders attempting to revitalize plateaued or declining congregations.