In the interests of full disclosure I should say that I count some of the staff and members of Kings as friends and am part of the same family of churches as the author of this book, Steve Tibbert. It’s always a slightly tricky thing when you review a book by someone you know. Being a sycophant isn’t my thing but then I’ve not always got the balance right when making public comments about people who, after all, are on the same team. That makes it sound like I’m about to pan this book, which I’m really not at all.
Good to Grow is the story of Kings Church in south-east London since Steve’s became the leader in the early 90’s. It’s a story of a church that has grown from some 200 to well over a thousand regular attenders, now meeting across multiple sites and pushing ahead at some rate of knots. As such it’s a story to be applauded. There simply aren’t enough stories like this in the UK of churches growing consistently over the years and breaking through significant barriers in terms of numbers and diversity.
It also contains the leadership lessons that Steve has learnt along the way and Steve is a very focused leader and there is lots of good stuff here particularly on building a diverse church, building a great marriage and the challenge of regularly retooling your leadership team to be ready for the next season of growth.
The chapters are short and the tone is conversational so you race through the pages quickly and nowhere does it get bogged down in detail. I read it in about three hours and it’s time well spent.
At times the book is a bit uneven and patchy and this is mostly when the story and the leadership lessons get mixed up and the chapter loses focus,. This was more evident at the beginning of the book as the story of the early years of Steve’s tenure was recalled. The book became much sharper and found its stride from the middle onwards.
However, any quibbles I have are minor and it certainly doesn’t spoil the book. The big take home lesson for me was the importance of building a great team which undoubtedly Steve has done. So for an encouraging story of church growth, for honest assessment of how to build a diverse multi-racial team and for other useful leadership lessons Good to Grow is a worthwhile book for a leader to read.