With this post I’ll close out my discussion of the 13 “paths” Steve Sjogren traces for the “struggling church” to become a “perfectly imporfect” church. The eleventh path, True, deals with doctrines & beliefs. Sjogren divides these into those that are essential, traditional, and opinions.Not surprisingly, he urges churches to pay the most attention to the essentials (under which he counts “Who Jesus is,” “How we get truth,” and “How we get right with God.” I have to agree with him that most churches have enough agreements in these areas that they can exhbit basic unity with each other. Path 12 is Cooperative. The perfectly imperfect church lives out its misison in connection with other churches. It does not act like the only true church or seek to exalt itself above others. Finally, churches should be Leading Out. By this Sjogren seems to mean that churches should be bold and set strong, healthy examples for people.
The Book as a Whole: Sjogren’s other books are more useful than this one. His most useful books for ordinary church ministry include, Conspiracy of Kindness; Irresistible Evangelism; and 101 Ways to Reach Your Community. This book would have worked better as an extended magazine article rather than a complete book. Perhaps if he’d spent more time on it he could have made it more substantive, meriting book-length treatment. My wife also read the book and thought the beginning of the book was good – especially where Sjogren says there is no single right way to be a healthy church. Her take on the rest of the book was that he then proceeded to deny his first point, implying that the “low-church Vineyard” way was the best.