Jim Cymbala believes that God plays "favorites" with churches, blessing some more abundantly than others, giving them greater peace, joy, and power for ministry. The Church God Blesses is a book about refusing to settle for less than God wants for your church. Jim Cymbala shares what he has learned, sometimes painfully, about building a church that God is blessing-not a church that has it all together or one that never makes mistakes or one that rarely encounters problems, but a church that daily experiences God's empowering presence.
God Is Looking For A Church To Bless God wants to transform his church into a people of power, joy, and peace Jim Cymbala reminds us that Christianity is only as strong as the local church and that God wants to bless our churches in ways we cant possibly imagine. It doesnt matter whether a church is alive and growing or barely surviving on life support. God has a plan for it. It doesnt matter whether a church is facing financial challenges, internal divisions, or strife among its leaders. God has a plan for it. God is able to deal with any problem a church will ever face--as long as his people earnestly seek him. As the pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle, Cymbala knows that Gods blessing and grace is available to us today just as much as it was in the early church, when thousands of people became believers despite the fact that the church lacked everything we consider vital: church buildings, seminaries, printed materials, sound systems, choirs, and money. None of these things mattered. What mattered was that Gods hand was on the church, working through his people to build the kingdom. Then, as now, God chose the church to manifest his presence to the world. In this companion book to The Life God Blesses, Cymbala describes the kind of church God wants to bless and use. Based on the Word of God and personal experience, The Church God Blesses describes the key elements found in a vitally alive church and offers church leaders and individual Christians a fresh and invigorating look at what God intends the church to be. The church God blesses is not necessarily the largest, newest, or loudest church in town. Instead, its a place where believers: * Receive solid spiritual nourishment *Can trust in Gods protection *Engage in vital praise and worship *Become effective in ministry *Learn that confession of sin is the channel to Gods power
Jim Cymbala has served as pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle for more than thirty-five years. He is the author of many bestselling titles, including Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire; Fresh Faith; and Fresh Power; and curriculum, including When Gods People Pray and When Gods Spirit Moves, which is linked to his book Spirit Rising. He lives in New York City with his wife, Carol, who directs the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
Stephen Sorenson along with his wife, Amanda, heads Sorenson Communications in Black Forest, Colorado. He has written and edited numerous books.
Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle and author of previous Christian
blockbusters such as Fresh Faith and Fresh Power, and Sorenson, editor and
head of Sorenson Communications, offer a refreshing return to some fundamental
values of Christianity. Church leaders are reminded to "put on" the clothes
of righteousness from Colossians 3:12-14 (compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience) and wear them outwardly. Cymbala examines the
message, method and motivation of the Apostle Paul, as an early church leader
obviously blessed by God. However, Cymbala provides no clear definition of the
term "blessing" that would place it in a context for the modern church.
References to Satan as a "ceaseless adversary" and to spiritual attack are
frequent. Not only is the terminology evangelical, but so is the general tone,
including judgmentalism about "the extreme sexuality common in much of the
fashion industry" and the "self-centered, comfort-zone lifestyle." The text
is comprised mainly of examination of Scripture passages and exhortation, but
lacks significant interpretation and uses some clich s of the pastoral trade
(e.g., "fleshly" instincts and "breakout" power). Intermixed with this are
memorable personal stories from Cymbala's experience, including
demon-possessed squatters, an addict who was sexually victimized at a boarding
school and an African missionary whose blood led to the conversion of a
resistant tribe. Although this is not up to the standard of his earlier works,
Cymbala's message is encouraging and uplifting, including answers for
spiritual hunger and demand for honest Christian examination. (Mar.) Forecast:
While this is clearly not on par with Cymbala's Gold Medallion-winning books
such as Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, it should still sell well in the Christian
market; the first book in the series, The Life God Blesses, has been holding
steady on the CBA bestseller list since November. Copyright 2002 Cahners