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Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2011
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What is the most effective way to grow a church? It's not a new methodology or cultural outreach strategy, it's...the Word of God. In this book, Jonathan Leeman wants you to realize that the Word, working through God's Spirit, is responsible for the growth of God's church and we need to trust it! Leeman not only informs and equips the leadership of local churches for greatest effectiveness in their preaching ministry but explains how to translate that into the life of the church throughout the week. The book also deals with two errors - not trusting the Word (resulting in a pragmatic ministry philosophy) and not living in light of the Word, (resulting in a ministry philosophy of "preaching is enough").
Reverberation explains the pulpit ministry and traces the theme of how the Word continues through the life of the church. Both theological and practical, Reverberation focuses on how the church hears, responds, discusses, implements and is transformed by the Word. No high-octane production, superstar personalities, or postmodern entreaties, just stuff that is really old, really good, and really powerful!
As Jesus told Martha in her busyness (which was on His behalf!), "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41-42). Leeman's appeal to leaders to refocus on Gods words and less on techniques is a wake-up call to those trying to be hip or culturally relevant.
The first part of Reverberation covers the ministry of the Word. The author explains how it not only pulls some seemingly hostile people into the family of God, but also drives others away who have chosen to reject God. And although we are tempted to make the gospel more appealing so that we don't offend potential Christians, Leeman assures us that our role is to be faithful to God's Word and allow the Lord to do what He will in the lives of others. Also covered in this section are the truths that God acts, frees his people, and gathers his church by his Word. Basically, God's power is unleashed through his Word.
Addressed primarily to pastors and teachers, the second section stresses the importance of preaching the Word within the local church. Leeman gives three main functions that Scripture fulfills in a sermon: it exposes what God says (without changing or embellishing it), it announces the good news of Jesus Christ (gospel), and it confronts the listener's reality and replaces it with God's reality. All of this, it must be asserted, occurs through the power of the Holy Spirit who gives wisdom, discernment, and enlightenment to the Christian who hears.
In the last section, Leeman describes the outer rings of the reverberation of the Word: singing, praying, discipling, and evangelism. He is brief, but makes his points plainly and effectively. When we sing, we sing truths from the Scriptures. When we pray, we pray the way the Bible demonstrates. When we disciple, or counsel, one another, we do it in the wisdom of the Word. With evangelism, he rightly points out that our mission on earth is not to evangelize, but to glorify God, and in the process we will naturally be sharing our faith in the Lord with others.
Overall, Jonathan Leeman writes with simplicity and biblical accuracy, grounding each point in Scripture and exemplifying it in real-life scenarios. In addition to ample biblical support, the author lists excellent recommended reading at the end of each chapter. My immediate reaction to reading this book was one of relief! As a sincere follower of Christ, I can easily get wrapped up with trying to do all the right things within ministry, and lose the beauty of God's power and plan. Only one thing is necessary to sit under the teachings of God and let the Spirit change my heart and those in my care. Reverberation is easily the most important book pastors, elders, and other church leaders could read this year. Stacy Oliver, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5The far-reaching impact of God's WordJune 27, 2013David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Jonathan Leeman is a "churchman" and 9 Marks ministry is committed to the importance of the local church. Together they have combined to provide a number of helpful resources for church leaders who sense the need to recover the New Testament pattern of practical ecclesiology. Methods and gimmicks for church revitalization have been tried and found wanting by well-meaning pastors and their staffs for the past several decades. Leeman's suggestion is both simple and profound: make the Word of God central and allow it to "reverberate" like a sound wave in every aspect of the church's life. Perhaps the most valuable part of the book for pastors is the section that deals with "the sermon." No matter how long one has been preparing and preaching sermons, he never "masters" his trade. There is always the need to take stock of the effectiveness of his ministry. Leeman serves to remind pastors that it is God's Word, faithfully exposited, that the Lord uses to change lives. The author also urges local assemblies to evaluate other aspects of the church's life when it gathers to worship (such as singing and praying) and then scatters (evangelizing and discipling). Leeman's writing style is clear yet challenging. This book is recommended for those who may not have been able to tackle his "The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love" or as a helpful follow-up to that title.
cterryIndianaAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Sadly, this book is extremely necessary today.June 20, 2013cterryIndianaAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Reverberation by Jonathan Leeman
I received this book as a review copy from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This work was something about which I had heard some time ago prior to requesting it as a review copy. Leeman is involved with Nine Marks, which is a para-church organization that grew out of the local church ministry of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Nine Marks produces some very high quality resources for the church. The resources are certainly reformed, congregational, and baptistic. Overall, I appreciate what Nine Marks does.
Prior to reading this book I have read articles by Leeman and listened to interviews he has done. He comes across as humble but unwavering in his biblical convictions. In Reverberation he says some very important things about the sufficiency of Scripture. Leeman holds to the doctrines of total depravity, election, and irresistible grace with which I am personally in agreement. As a result of such convictions, Leeman looks at Isaiah 55:10-11 and rightly recognizes that God's Word always accomplishes His will. At times the Word brings judgment, and other times it brings repentance and salvation. Leeman does not entirely dispose of ministry strategy, architecture, musical style, and attire. But, he does properly regard those things as subordinate to the place God's Word should have in the church. He continually points to the Holy Spirit's use of Scripture to bring light, life, and freedom to hearers. Everything else is secondary and should be seen as such. Leeman calls for a proper perspective in local churches.
Jonathan Leeman seeks throughout the remainder of the book to expound the implications and applications of such a Bible-centered life and ministry. The Word reverberates through preaching, teaching, singing, praying, and discipleship. As we study and are taught the Word, it informs how we should think and live. The Word determines what is true and proper for believers. Leeman argues that Scripture should effect everything we do. Our conversations away from church gatherings - in the home, workplace, coffee shop - should be filled with and guided by Spirit-enabled application of God's Word.
Sadly, this book is extremely necessary today. Leeman communicates nothing ground-breaking, nor does he intend to do so. He writes what genuine believers, who have held to the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, have practiced and called others to do so for almost 2,000 years. It appears to be a battle that must be fought in each generation. This is a quality book and message.
Book NerdyAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Sound & clearOctober 9, 2012Book NerdyAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4The book is a book about expository preaching and the sufficiency of God's Word to change people. The thesis and premise of the book is solid throughout, especially within the beginning pages of the text. Overall, the text does magnify the Word of God and gives the reader a deep appreciation of the scriptures. The book is a tool to encourage readers to find their hunger, thirst, and ultimate satisfaction in the truth, power and feast of God's Word. Leeman did an excellent job in protruding forth the power of the Holy scriptures. Leeman was sound and clear in his approach of writing about The Word, The Sermon, & The Reverberation Effect.
However, like other readers have noted, Leeman does take numerous jabs at the evangelical church (as a whole) throughout the book. One must understand that just because a church offers programs, various ministries, does not imply that the Word is not the focal point of it all or central to the overarching purpose of the existence of that local congregation. Perhaps these ministries are a part of the reverberation effect that the Word has on it's hearers/doers.
As for preaching, this book would be a great tool of refreshment to the pastor's soul as well as a source of an eye-opener to the layman, who needs to reminded of the power and sufficiency of the scriptures. Whoever reads this book, will find themselves with a greater appreciation and a renewed hunger for the Word of God, therefore, finding themselves growing in the grace & knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
I was provided this book from http://mpnewsroom.com/ for the purpose of review. The above thoughts are my own.
richard r blakeBridgman, MIAge: Over 65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5God Dwells with His People through His WordMarch 25, 2011richard r blakeBridgman, MIAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4God Dwells with His People through His Word
In recent years Evangelicalism has experienced a pattern of church growth with an emphasis on methodology using a cultural outreach strategy. In his book "Reverberation," Jonathan Leeman establishes the premise that "God's Word working through God's Spirit, is God's primary instrument for growing God's church."
In a natural progression Leeman presents the evangelist, the theological foundation of the Word, the individual's heart, the local church, the sermon, and role of the Word in music, prayer, discipleship, and mission. He demonstrates why we can have faith in God's Word to "create, sustain, and empower daily obedience to the Word." He warns of the danger of the growing loss of confidence in God's Word among Evangelicals.
Leeman's writing is Biblically sound, thorough in presentation, analytical, and convincing in content. "Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People" is important and timely in light of the recent emphasis on contextualizing, spiritual formation, renewal, and the missional church.