EVANGELISM-Measurement

BOOK REVIEWS

The strength of our Book Reviews collection lies in the categorical breakdown that we have created for you below. We have divided the most common ministry design issues into categories so that you can more easily find the solution that you are looking for. Our eventual goal is to have an in-depth review for every book that will give you further assistance in discovering the reading pathway that can lead you to the solutions to the ministry issues you may be facing.


EVANGELISM |

MEASUREMENT

  • Health, Wealth & Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ?

    by David W. Jones/Russell S. Woodbridge. Publisher: Kregel.

    A thorough research and analysis of the prosperity gospel movement.

    Click to see full review

    The authors provide a systematic answer to the prevalent question of the prosperity gospel. The book is written in a readable and understandable way – it’s scholarly yet they make the information easy to grasp. The authors help the reader gain control of the Biblical teachings, and then help us apply those teachings to critique and expose the false teachings of the prosperity gospel preachers. The following is a short excerpt: “the prosperity teachers’ theological rationale is simple, but false. They start with the valid premise that God created the world by speaking – that is, He used words (see Gen. 1:3). Since humans are made in the image of God (see Gen. 1:26-27), prosperity advocates conclude that they too can use words in order to create new situations. If God’s words have creative, miraculous power, then human words ought to have the same characteristics. Yet, there is a problem: although God did speak the world into existence, and God did make humanity in His own image, it does not follow that people have the same power as God. In order to make the prosperity doctrine of mind over matter function, you have to assume that being made in the image of God means having the same power as God. This assumption, however, is false for it fails to recognize the distinction between an infinite being (God) and finite beings (humans).” I especially appreciated the history lesson that provides the roots of this movement. I believe the authors to be accurate, clear and concise with their effort and I found the book very helpful.

  • Making Friends for Christ: A Practical Approach to Relational Evangelism

    By Wayne McDill

    “Making Friends for Christ is a practical approach to relational evangelism. It combines a theological and biblical rationale with practical counsel and dozens of real life stories. The new edition is a major revision, enlarged and updated for twenty-first century challenges. Pastors, church planters, and missionaries will find it most helpful. Laymen who have been frustrated with their attempts at witnessing are finding it opens a new way of thinking about reaching their friends and relatives for Christ…”

  • Sentness: Six Postures of Missional Christians

    By Kim Hammond and Darren Cronshaw

    Ever wonder why people fall asleep in church?

    “It happens. We’ve all seen it. We shuffle into rows of seats that grow more comfortable with every new fundraising campaign. We slouch down and settle in for an hour or so, as singers and storytellers and preachers and teachers take their turns filling our ears. And almost without fail, at least one of us nods off while listening to the greatest story ever told.

    The church was not meant to be like this. The church was meant to be on its feet, in the world, making all things new. The church was meant to be sent.

    Kim Hammond and Darren Cronshaw want to help us—all of us—rediscover our sentness.

    Dive into Sentness, and explore the six postures of a church that’s keeping pace with God’s work in the world. Rediscover the gospel that first quickened your pulse and got you up on your feet, ready to go wherever Jesus called you. Get Sentness, and prepare to get sent.”

  • The Externally Focused Church

    by Rick Rusaw & Eric Swanson. Publisher: Group.

    Addresses a much needed change in church culture in the 21rst century.

  • Transitioning the Church: Leading the Established Church to Reach the Unchurched

    By Zack Williams

    “Is the church primarily for the churched or the unchurched? How do church leaders transition an established church to reach the unchurched? Zach describes one of the biggest problems in many established churches: They have lost their drive to reach the unchurched. This book reveals how the problem perpetuates because of church leadership. Too many church leaders are content with an inward focus.

    Zach identifies how leaders can help established churches transition from an inward focus to an outward focus. Transitioning is one of the most important characteristics a church can have because it involves the mission of Jesus, to take those who are hurting and lost and give them life.”

  • unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity… and Why It Matters

    by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Publisher: Baker Books.

    Results of a research study from the Barna Group.

    Click to see full review

    Purpose:

    To help believers see what Christianity looks like from unbelievers born between 1984 and 2002 and to suggest a course of action in response to this information.

    Content:

    The research reveals an unsettling description of believers by the nonbelievers in this age group – words like hypocrite, judgmental, insensitive.  The unbelievers in this age group do not believe that today’s believers look anything like they think Christ intended them to look.

    Analysis:

    The book is disturbing and thought provoking. Allow it to help you think through the implications to each area of our lives.  The book brings us face-to-face with the stark reality that how we would like to be seen has not happened.  Instead, the unbelievers in this age group perceive us, by our actions, to be anything but Christlike.

    Application:
    Who will benefit?
    Any Christian seeking to make a difference

    How will it benefit?
    It should help us evaluate and realign ourselves in our attitudes and actions

    Where does it fit?
    Development of your Philosophy of ministry

    Aha Thought:
    “Another significant antidote to hypocrisy (in addition to integrity and purity) is transparency.  On one level, hypocrisy is failing to acknowledge the inconsistencies in our life.  It is denial.  It is, as the Bible describes it, trying to remove a speck from someone else’s eye when you have a log in your own.  Living with integrity starts with being transparent.
    Young people talk these days about the need for authenticity, for ‘keepin’it real’ – not pretending to be something you are not, being open about your faults.  Young people are searching for this type of person, this kind of lifestyle.  In one survey we found that ‘doing what you say you are going to do’ was among the characteristics young people most admired.” (p. 54-55)