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While quite a few books offer answers, the best one comes directly from Scripture. In Word-Centered Church, Jonathan Leeman brings that answer into sharp focus, offering readers a thorough treatment of one of God's greatest concerns: growing His people and growing His church.
Theological and practical, Word-Centered Church focuses on how the church hears, responds to, discusses, implements, and is transformed by Scripture. It's not about high-octane production, superstar personalities, or postmodern entreaties, but stuff that is really old, really good, and really powerful.
Leeman's book is the ministry-model resource that churches need, because it advances the model God designed. For anyone who wants to grow or help others grow, Word-Centered Church is indispensable.
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 X .5 (inches)|
Four Views on the Church's MissionJonathan Leeman, Christopher J.H. Wright, John R. Franke, Peter J. LeithartZondervan / 2017 / Trade Paperback$12.99 Retail:
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Political Church: The Local Assembly as Embassy of Christ's RuleJonathan LeemanIVP Academic / 2016 / Trade Paperback$21.99 Retail:
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contemplativereflections4 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: Word-Centered ChurchAugust 16, 2017contemplativereflectionsQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0In "Word-Centered Church," Jonathan Leeman argues that the Bible is the primary means by which the church as the body of Christ is redeemed, renewed, and transformed. Leeman approaches this subject with multiple angles by analyzing how Scripture is God's power in the pulpit, the congregation, and the world. The author offers a helpful analogy in explaining how the Bible works in our lives by describing the transmission of God's Word as reverberating in the hearts and minds of those who receive it. When Scripture is proclaimed faithfully, we witness spiritual renewal and revival in its hearers may it be through the preacher's exhortation during the Sunday worship service, the prayers of the saints on Wednesday night prayer meeting, or during family worship on Friday evening. The book is divided into three parts examining the nature and function of Scripture, the preaching and proclamation of Scripture, and the role of Scripture in the church and the world. Leeman calls all Christians to love, meditate, and speak Scripture so that we, individually and corporately, can continue our transformation from depraved, spiritual corpses into Spirit-filled living bodies redeemed as the children of God and sanctified to become His temple. I greatly appreciate how the author approaches this topic through the lens of the local church which makes the observations and applications presented relevant to both clergy and laity alike.
I would gladly recommend this book to all Christians as the Bible should be central to all who put their faith in Christ as the living Word of God. Many churches have turned to using marketing, psychology, and business strategies to attract and retain non-believers and believers instead of focusing on the Bible as the authority and power of God that enables people to know and love God. Leeman pleads for the people of God to be saturated with Scripture and allow its richness and goodness to overflow into every arena of our lives and especially in the spreading of the gospel. The Bible is not an antiquated book of wise sayings and good advice but the most common means of grace by which the Spirit employs to convict, correct, and encourage us to increasingly reflect the image of God.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Moody Press in exchange for a book review.
mattparks35Joplin, MOAge: 18-24Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Getting Back to the FoundationJuly 11, 2017mattparks35Joplin, MOAge: 18-24Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3It is difficult to believe that this book even needs to be written, but it does. With a balanced mixture of unashamed boldness and empathetic concern, Leeman argues that God's Word should be the foundation for church ministry. Whether it is singing songs of praise in the sanctuary or tending to toddlers in the nursery, God's Word should "reverberate," or bounce around from one person to another as sound does in a canyon. The book has three main parts: The Word, The Sermon, and The Church. Part 1 argues for the centrality of the Word in the life of the church as the primary means of growing people. Part 2 argues that expository preaching is the primary method in which the Word is communicated. Part 3 offers a short discourse on what Christians should be doing during times of collective worship. This short book may serve the church leader and layperson alike. In my humble opinion, some who read this may be put off by the author's subtle and biting sarcasm, especially in reference to "seeker" driven church ministry or the certain contemporary church models. Otherwise, this book is highly recommended and greatly needed. I received this book free from the publishers in return for an honest review.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Pastors and church boards need to read this bookMay 4, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I am very impressed with this book. I think Leeman has definitely identified a serious issue with the church in America. We give lip service to the importance of God's Word but do we really believe that it is the most powerful force in the universe? Do we really believe that it needs to be central to our church life and ministry?
Do we think the latest program will get people involved in ministry? Leeman says it is the transforming Word of God that will get people to surrender their lives and yield to Christ. This necessary work of the Word must begin in the pulpit and continue through the life of the church.
Leeman explores the theological basis for a Word centered church. He emphasizes the work the Holy Spirit does, necessary because of the condition of the unsaved man. Human persuasion or the latest glitzy program will not do it. Only the Word of God can free the sin enslaved heart. Leeman also gives some very practical suggestions to help pastors understand how to make the Word central, how to preach it and how to have it reverberate through the congregation. He includes teaching on having the Word central in singing and in prayer.
We should be looking for one thing, Leeman says, when we gather with a church: God's Word. Everything else should be "either a platform for the Word or evidence of the Word's life-changing power..." (889/1946) I wonder what would happen should a church governing body use that as a criterion for church ministry.
This is a serious issue. We are to make sure people join church because they love the gospel, not because the church is "cool." There is a high chance someone will join a church and be deceived into thinking he is a Christian yet not be converted by the gospel. (818/1946)
I highly recommend this book to pastors and church leaders. It will challenge you to evaluate your ministry and reflect on whether you are trusting in creating the right ambiance or the power of God's Word to bring people into your church.
Food for thought: "One thing is necessary in our churches - hearing God's Word through preaching, reading, singing, and praying." (169/1946)
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.