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This is the first in a series of reviews of books that can be helpful toward Church RevitalizationRelaunch, by Dr. Mark Rutland (Colorado Springs, Colo: David C. Cook, 2013) 206 Pages.

The author is the third president of Oral Roberts University, a businessman, educator and president of the National Institute of Christian Leadership. Relaunch is his 14th book.

In this book, he shares the principles he practiced in turning around organizations that were in critical circumstances: a church with a deep debt and attendance decline, a college with a demoralized faculty and enrollment loss and a university that was facing scandal and lawsuit.

The principles of relaunching can be summarized with:
1. Diagnose the truth about the present reality.
2. Determine what is realistic about where you can take the organization. 3. Develop a strategy to get there.
4. Determine ways to measure progress.
5. Empower people who can impact results.
6. Keep on keeping on.

The book is well written, full of anecdotes that make you smile and pithy insights that make you go “Hmm.” You will read this book with your highlighter open and ready.

Among the many highlightable statements he makes are:

“The biggest problem is a damaged dream. The turnaround leader is the Chief Culture Officer. It is the leader’s job to create and communicate a vision at every opportunity to every person who will stand still or walk slow.”

“You are the Johnny Appleseed of the vision.”

“An unfortunate truth…is that your opponents will always be more energized than those who are on your side.”

This is a great read for Church Revitalization leadership.

– Dale Huff, State Missionary and Director of the Office of Leadercare & Church Administration

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