I can understand the frustration of Christian churches in the US because of the decreasing membership of their flock. This unfortunate situation occurs despite the church doing everything within its circle of members to conform to the norms and regulations of their churches. Ordained Minister Kevin Ver Hoeven in Winning Again: Hope for the Church in Little America offers a different take. He voices out his certainty that we can reverse the negative trend in church membership. He proceeds to explain in great detail how we can accomplish the task.
The author warns readers that a complete transformation is not going to be a walk in the park. It requires a new way of thinking, an out-of-the-box formula, or a paradigm shift. What is different about the author’s approach is that the warning is not directed solely to his church but the whole of Christian churches across the US, evangelical or denomination. First, we must discard the “Little America” concept or your little slice of heaven. It hinders growth because everything is too focused on the church’s members. The author elaborates on better ways of spreading the faith than concentrating on people you already know. Second, find the correct targets. As an avid golfer and winning golf coach, he explains that one should not look for the hole immediately. Find your first target, then the next, until you can finally put the ball inside. Lastly, develop a game plan. If it were football, focus on getting across the opponent’s goal line and do not be contented to stay on the fifty-yard line. If you want to know how to make this happen, you need to read the book to find out.
Christian churches in America may do well to pay attention because the author does not hold back any punches in his discussion. He writes with honesty and passion interspersed with a nice touch of humor. If you were to ask me, I will dare say that this is the book that can make the country and American churches great again.
– The Moving Words Review
Official entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2022
About the Author. Kevin Ver Hoeven has pastored the Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Fulton Church for the past seven years. This is just his latest stop in a thirty-five-year career of pastoring in small places in America. He is married with three adult children and the most precious grandson in the world.