Small book packs a lot of power


Special to the Telegram

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Every page of “The Greatest Church in the World” is gripping.

This sounds like an odd description for the story unfolding behind the serene, watercolored lighthouse on the cover. But this small book packs a lot of power. Using a fascinating story line, sc reaches into the heart of the church experience and paints a beautiful picture. A picture which reveals a true church in that everyone is engaged and exited to be a member. Everyone shares an enthusiasm and a love for their church that is so compelling.

"It was black and white time," writes the author, Skip Carney. "That time just after dusk, but before dark, when all the color is gone from the landscape. It was black and white and Kevin was three hundred and forty-seven miles from home." The scene is eerie. The reader begins a journey with the protagonist into the unfamiliar. Carney begins this journey in darkness, so that as he introduces Ten Beacons — the guiding principles of church success — Kevin and the reader are brought into the light.

Carney uses this theme of light throughout his book. Pastor Kevin finds himself at the Lighthouse Church. He finds lighthouse emblems hidden in details of his journey. He is a pastor who has lost his spark after two failed churches. Kevin is far from home when he enters the Lighthouse Church in black and white time. He meekly implores God for guidance, hoping the Lord will understand if he quits the ministry for good.

A fellow pastor and the local community introduce Kevin to the Ten Beacons. These guiding principles are Carney's masterpiece. The author reaches into the heart of church experience and reveals a true church where everyone is engaged and excited to be a member. Beacon by beacon, Kevin's passion for ministry reignites.

The most encouraging part? These beacons are practical, succinct and applicable to our souls. Carney wants us to be great. He wants all of our churches and communities to be The Greatest in the World. He describes a church that is truly a lamp on a hill.

"Humans add. God multiplies." Carney pens it well. And as his book events add up, God is multiplying the effects these Ten Beacons add to the world.

Carney seems an unlikely character to pen a book on the church. He is a business owner, after all. A marketing professional. But when one inspects Carney's decisions within and beyond The Greatest Church in the World, his credibility comes to light.

"’The Greatest Church in the World’ is the new handbook for the modern church," says Martin Newby of LoveServes International. "At Love Serves, we have taught the principles in this book to more than 2,500 pastors. Now, we will use this book as a guide to teach and train pastors, church leaders and church members." Might we all aspire to this kind of greatness in our church.

Carney launched this book at the ReNew18 Pastors Conference, an event which took place at N.C. Wesleyan College and attracted more than 300 pastors, church leaders and nonprofit members.

“The Greatest Church in the World” is available on Kindle and Amazon, so that it can empower and encourage the masses. It has also been hand-delivered it to local businesses, so they too could benefit from the books' sales. It is currently available at the Almand's Drugs Westridge location, The Bath Place, Morning Addiction Coffee House, Bulluck Furniture, Nash Arts Center and Ward Specialty Pharmacy.

Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Foundation for Christian Education, whose mission is to develop, promote and distribute Christian education.