Category: Church

Book Review – I Am A Church Member: Discovering The Attitude that Makes the Difference

One of the central issues of our day when it comes to the doctrine of the Church is interestingly enough, church membership. Many Christians today struggle with the idea of becoming or even being members of the Church. For some Christians just merely attending Church is okay with them and they don’t care to be bothered with becoming a member. Having grown up in the Church, I’ve seen both approaches to this issue but there is a better way. Church membership is vital because the New Testament epistles were written in response to Christians gathering together in local churches under the authority and care of pastors and elders. Church membership is important not because it takes into account how many people are actually part of the Church thus affecting how money will be allocated in terms of a budget, but because church membership represents responsibility ordained by God. It is in the context of the local Church where Christians are to one another each other. The over fifty one another passages in the New Testament make no sense apart from being a member of a local Church under qualified and godly biblical eldership. While the topic of church membership in recent years has thankfully risen to the fore, and we’ve discussed it extensively from a biblical-theological framework on Servants of Grace, a new book by Dr. Thom Rainer, President...

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Book Review – Dying to Grow: Reclaiming the Heart for Evangelism in the Church

Recent years have seen an explosion in conversation about how the Church can be healthy and reach the culture with the Gospel. Many of these books are excellent and make great contributions to this ongoing discussion. One recent book Dying to Grow: Reclaiming the Heart for Evangelism in the Church Dying to Grow Reclaiming the Heart for Evangelism in the Church by Nathan Lorick the Director of Evangelism for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention has come out. The book has sixteen chapters and seeks to help readers to “recapture the zeal for what God wants to do in your church through a renewed strategy and passion for evangelism” (xxi). What I appreciate about Dying To Grow is the book is clear on the Gospel. It is obvious that Nathan loves God’s Word, His people, and the local church. Nathan notes, “Churches today need to find their way back to the gospel by ignoring the newest self-help church growth books and following the example of the fastest growing and most effective church that history has ever seen—the church in Acts. We must make the tough decision to forsake anything that pulls our attention and pursuit away room the gospel. What we really need is a realistic diagnosis of where we are” (3-4). The above quote provides a good sampling of what the author calls for in this book. Dying...

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Book Review – Transformational Discipleship: How People Grow

Discipleship is a topic that is much talked about but very rarely understood in the evangelical world today. In the early 1990’s and 2000’s it was popular to talk about discipleship as a conversation divorced from doctrine and theology. When discipleship is taken down to only a conversation about how to make disciples something is greatly missed- namely what it means to be a disciple. At the heart of what Jesus taught to His disciples was that being a disciple is to follow after Him in all of life. The Bible doesn’t have a magic formula for discipleship—it has a message that calls people to become disciples of Christ; those who follow Jesus and the teaching of the Word of God in all of life by the grace of God and engage in His mission of making disciples for His glory. A new book Transformational Discipleship following Transformational Church has come out that seeks to help pastors, ministry leaders and lay people understand what discipleship is and how to grow in Christ. Transformational Discipleship is broken up into three parts. Part one is about the transformational framework off Truth. Here the authors look at three lens: The Gospel lens, the identity lens and the discipleship lens. Part two looks at the transformational framework through the perspective of posture—weakness, interdependent, and outward. The final section of the book looks at...

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Book Review – Seasons of a Leader’s Life: Learning, Leading, and Leaving a Legacy

One of the greatest needs inside and outside the Church today is or leaders to godly leaders to arise to lead people toward God. Before I attended Bible College and seminary I spent some time reading leadership books. Often such books would focus on how to improve this or that in one’s leadership. What was missing then in the literature and what has been built on by others—is the need for godly character in leadership. Recently Christian books on leadership have seemed to emphasize the leader taking care of himself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In this vein of thought Dr. Jeff Iorg wrote Seasons Of A Leader’s Life Learning, leading, and Leaving Your Legacy, a book that identifies the Apostle Peter as someone who lived through all three phases of leadership in the New Testament. According to the author, in the Gospels Peter was a learner, in Acts he was a leader, and in 1 and 2 Peter he wrote his legacy. In this book, the he blends Scripture with leadership principles that will help the reader better understand biblical leadership. Part one looks at lessons for emerging leaders. Here the author talks about the believer’s identity in Christ, the call of God, spiritual disciplines and humility. Part two examines priorities for active leaders. In this section the author writes about the challenges of confronting sins, paradigms, decision...

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Church Series: Legalism, Gospel and the Church

Editors note: This is a brand new series on the Church designed to help people think through what the local Church is, and why it is important. The first post in this series was by Dan Darling on 5 Ways You Can Help Your Church. Mike Leake wrote the second post in this series on 7 Ways to Create a Reading Culture in your Church. The third post was written by Dave Jenkins on 5 Reasons We should Gather in Local Churches. Dan Darling wrote the fourth post in this series on the best way to help your church....

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