Todd A. Wilson has a “church growth strategy” as old as the church itself: follow the advice in Paul’s letter to Titus. In brief, practical terms, Wilson lays out Paul’s advice for the church in his new book Zealous for Good Works.
American evangelicalism, says Wilson, is “good at winning converts but not so good at making disciples” so Wilson prescribes a simple solution taken directly from Titus 2:1: “Teach what accords with sound doctrine.” This means not just teaching theology, but teaching “how we should live in light of who God is.” Once we’re saved by grace, we become zealous to do good works that display our faith to those around us.
It’s an old idea that’s evergreen. Who doesn’t need to be reminded of the “sovereign” but “surprising” grace that saved us? Who doesn’t need to be reminded that the full flowering of this grace is that we might be “devoted to other people and not ourselves”? This book is a refreshing vision of what the church can and should be. Instead of strategizing and marketing our churches, Wilson reminds us to focus on being good neighbors, which takes “a remarkable amount of self-control and strength, the kind Jesus Christ exhibited.” This book is a gentle reminder to get back to the work assigned to us by the apostles who left the church in our hands.