* Has church become just another commitment to juggle on busy Sundays? Chester and Timmis offer a more radical vision---church as 24/7 lifestyle! Encouraging the body of Christ to restructure its life and mission, they show how making "gospel" and "community" priorities can effectively impact evangelism, social involvement, church planting, discipleship, spirituality, youth ministry, relationships, and more. 224 pages, softcover from Crossway.
Two pastors outline and apply a pair of overarching biblical principles that call the current body of Christ to a deep restructuring of its life and mission.
Tim Chester (PhD, University of Wales) is a pastor of Grace Church, Boroughbridge, and curriculum director of the Acts 29-Oak Hill Academy, which provides integrated theological and missional training for church leaders. He is the coauthor of Total Church and is the author of over thirty books, including You Can Change, A Meal with Jesus, and Good News to the Poor.
Steve Timmis (MA, University of Sheffield) is the executive director of Acts 29 and lead pastor at the Crowded House in Sheffield, United Kingdom. He is the author or coauthor of several books. Steve and his wife, Janet, have four adult children and multiple grandchildren.
In an age of ambiguity and apathy for the church, Total Church accurately and insightfully identifies the local church as a gospel community on mission with Jesus.
-Mark Driscoll, Founding Pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle
Tim Chester and Steve Timmis are cofounders of The Crowded House, a churchplanting initiative in Sheffield, UK, and codirectors of the Porterbrook Network, which trains and mentors church planters. Chester has 15 years' experience in church planting, and Timmis previously directed Radstock Ministries, a mission agency facilitating the involvement of the local church in world mission. This is their third book together.
"Church is not a meeting you attend or a place you enter," write pastors Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. "It's an identity that is ours in Christ. An identity that shapes the whole of life so that life and mission become 'total church.'" With that as their premise, they emphasize two overarching principles to govern the practice of church and mission: being gospel-centered and being community-centered. When these principles take precedence, say the authors, the truth of the Word is upheld, the mission of the gospel is carried out, and the priority of relationships is practiced in radical ways. The church becomes not just another commitment to juggle but a 24/7 lifestyle where programs, big events, and teaching from one person take a backseat to sharing lives, reaching out, and learning about God together.
In Total Church, Chester and Timmis first outline the biblical case for making gospel and community central and then apply this dual focus to evangelism, social involvement, church planting, world missions, discipleship, pastoral care, spirituality, theology, apologetics, youth and childrens work. As this insightful book calls the body of Christ to rethink its perspective and practice of church, it charts a middle path between the emerging church movement and conservative evangelicalism that all believers will find helpful.