Over the last few years I've become somewhat resistant to what the "church growth movement" has become. I'm not against mega-churches or churches growing or modern methodology, I'm just turned off by churches who are all flash and shock and little substance. But I was so pleasantly surprised by Go Big. Even though it is very much about growing a church numerically, it is even more about being a strong leader - specifically a strong lead pastor.
This is not a typical church book, because it is way more practical than most. Many authors are today are afraid to get too practical because they don't want to seem like they're pushing their agenda or methods as the only way. Bill and Bil get very practical, give very strong advice, and make no apologies for it. Reading Go Big didn't feel like a seminar, but rather it felt like sitting down with a couple of friends honestly sharing what has worked and not worked for them over the years.
Their advice is strong, sometimes shocking, but I believe mostly dead-on. Great advice on structuring a church, casting vision, getting past growth barriers, staffing, creating a culture of service, fund-raising, and dealing with difficult people. I won't go into the details here, but every lead pastor should read this book. I'm not going to promise you'll agree with everything - I didn't. But I gained so much truly great advice from this book.
There's a follow up book that I can't wait to read called Go Big With Small Groups: Eleven Steps to an Explosive Small Groups Ministry.
Sidenote: I don't know if everyone's copy is the same as mine, but I thought it was interesting that the cover boasted "Forward by Ed Young" and inside there was no forward, no Ed Young.