Since the publication of the groundbreaking volume Missional Church in 1998, there has been wide-ranging engagement with the theme of the missional church. One of the leading voices in the missional church conversation, Darrell Guder here lays out basic theological issues that must be addressed for the church to serve God faithfully as Christ's witnessing people.
Guder argues that there are major consequences for every classical theological locus if the fundamental claims of the missional church discussion are acknowledged. In Called to Witness he delves into these consequences, saying that we need to keep doing missional theology until it is possible to leave off the "missional scaffolding" because, after all, mission defines the very essence and calling of the church.
In this provocative book, Guder argues that the incarnation of God in Jesus provides the foundational model for the practice of Christian missions in the world today. The incarnation is the culmination of God's activity and presence in the world, says Guder, for in this event God initiates the healing of a broken world.
Using literary, historical, and social approaches to scripture, Guder claims the contemporary church should return to an "incarnational mission" in which the practice of Christian witness is "shaped by the life, ministry, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus."
The result of a three-year research project undertaken by The Gospel and Our Culture Network, this book issues a firm challenge for the church to recover its missional call right here in North America, while also offering the tools to help it do so.
The authors examine North America s secular culture and the church s loss of dominance in today s society. They then present a biblically based theology that takes seriously the church s missional vocation and draw out the consequences of this theology for the structure and institutions of the church.
Building on the ground laid by the book Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (Darrell Guder et al. 1998), Treasure in Clay Jars centers on case studies of nine missional congregations from across North America that are diverse in their denominational affiliations, worship styles, political stances, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The book explores eight concrete "patterns" common to these churches. Although the patterns may be different in each setting, they can be recognized in any congregation seeking to participate in God's mission in the world.
The team that authored this book believes that "missional" says something not so much about the activities of the church as its character: "The church does not exist for itself, but for participation in God's mission of reconciliation. . . . Mission is the character of the church in whatever context it exists." The congregations studied here are "clay jars," but each carries in its witness a remarkable treasure that points to God's power and purposes.
Lois Y. Barrett
Darrell L. Guder
Walter C. Hobbs
George R. Hunsberger
Linford L. Stutzman
Jeff Van Kooten
Dale A. Ziemer
Nik recalls that, "God had always been so real to me, to Ruth, and to our boys. But was He enough, for the utter weariness of soul I experienced at that time, in that place, under those circumstances?" It is a question that many have asked and one that, if answered, can lead us to a whole new world of faith.
How does faith survive, let alone flourish in a place like the Middle East? How can Good truly overcome such evil? How do you maintain hope when all is darkness around you? How can we say "greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world" when it may not be visibly true in that place at that time? How does anyone live an abundant, victorious Christian life in our world's toughest places? Can Christianity even work outside of Western, dressed-up, ordered nations? If so, how?
The Insanity of God tells a story - a remarkable and unique story to be sure, yet at heart a very human story - of the Ripkens' own spiritual and emotional odyssey. The gripping, narrative account of a personal pilgrimage into some of the toughest places on earth, combined with sobering and insightful stories of the remarkable people of faith Nik and Ruth encountered on their journeys, will serve as a powerful course of revelation, growth, and challenge for anyone who wants to know whether God truly is enough.
Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics, and even ardent believers, have about religion. Using literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and potent reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand their ground against the backlash to religion created by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics, he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.
This concise guide is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help Christians stand their ground and defend their faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historicity of Jesus’ personal claims and resurrection, addresses the problem of suffering, and shows why religious relativism doesn’t work. Along the way, he shares his story of following God’s call in his own life.
This one-stop, how-to-defend-your-faith manual will equip Christians to advance faith conversations deliberately, applying straightforward, cool-headed arguments. They will discover not just what they believe, but why they believe—and how being on guard with the truth has the power to change lives forever.
In Tactics, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You'll learn how to maneuver comfortably and graciously through the minefields of a challenging discussion, how to stop challengers in their tracks, and how to turn the tables on question or provocative statement. Most importantly, you'll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.
Drawing on extensive experience defending Christianity in the public square, Koukl shows you how to:Initiate conversations effortlesslyPresent the truth clearly, cleverly, and persuasivelyGraciously and effectively expose faulty thinkingSkillfully manage the details of dialogueMaintain an engaging, disarming style even under attack
Tactics provides the game plan for communicating the compelling truth about Christianity with confidence and grace.
What did Jesus really mean when he said, “Follow Me”?
In this new book, David Platt, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, contends that multitudes of people around the world culturally think they are Christians yet biblically are not followers of Christ.
Scores of men, women, and children have been told that becoming a follower of Jesus simply involves believing certain truths or saying certain words. As a result, churches today are filled with people who believe they are Christians . . . but aren’t. We want to be disciples as long as doing so does not intrude on our lifestyles, our preferences, our comforts, and even our religion.
Revealing a biblical picture of what it means to truly be a Christian, Follow Me explores the gravity of what we must forsake in this world, as well as the indescribable joy and deep satisfaction to be found when we live for Christ.
The call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it’s a summons to lose your life—and to find new life in him. This book will show you what such life actually looks like.
Now in paperback, multi-awarded #1 national bestseller Simple Church guides Christians back to the simple gospel-sharing methods of Jesus. No bells or whistles required. With insights based on case studies of 400 American churches, Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger prove the disciple-making process is often too complex. Simple churches thrive by taking four ideas to heart:
Clarity. Movement. Alignment. Focus.
Simple Church examines each idea, clearly showing why it is time to simplify. This updated trade paper edition includes a new chapter with further insights the authors have gained through hundreds of conversations with church leaders since this landmark book's original release.
Of all things Catholic, there is nothing that is so familiar as the Mass. With its unchanging prayers, the Mass fits Catholics like their favorite clothes. Yet most Catholics sitting in the pews on Sundays fail to see the powerful supernatural drama that enfolds them. Pope John Paul II described the Mass as "Heaven on Earth," explaining that what "we celebrate on Earth is a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy."
The Lamb’s Supper reveals a long-lost secret of the Church: The early Christians' key to understanding the mysteries of the Mass was the New Testament Book of Revelation. With its bizarre imagery, its mystic visions of heaven, and its end-of-time prophecies, Revelation mirrors the sacrifice and celebration of the Eucharist.
Beautifully written, in clear direct language, bestselling Catholic author Scott Hahn's new book will help readers see the Mass with new eyes, pray the liturgy with a renewed heart, and enter into the Mass more fully, enthusiastically, intelligently, and powerfully than ever before.
Instead of drawing on the latest popular fad or the newest selling technique, Robert E. Coleman looks to the Bible to find the answer to the question, What was Christ's strategy for evangelism? Through a thorough examination of the gospel accounts, Coleman points out unchanging, simple, yet profound biblical principles of how to emulate Christ to others.
Originally published in 1978, the book has sold 300,000 copies and is a classic in Muslim evangelism. The 25th anniversary edition includes an afterword by a missionary friend of Bilquis who plays a prominent role in the story and an appendix on how the East enriches the West.
In the anniversary edition of this electrifying real-life story, readers are gripped from the first page by the harrowing account of a young man who risked his life to smuggle Bibles through the borders of closed nations. Now, sixty years after Brother Andrew first prayed for God's miracle protection, this expanded edition of a classic work encourages new readers to meet this remarkable man and his mission for the first time.
Working undercover for God, a mission that continues to this day, has made Brother Andrew one of the all-time heroes of the faith. His narrow escapes from danger to share the love of Jesus will encourage and embolden believers in their own walks of faith.
As he examines Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, Kyle unpacks the many counter-intuitive truths, including: brokenness is the way to wholeness, mourning is the path to blessing, and emptiness is required in order to know true fullness. Ultimately you will discover how Jesus transforms you as you begin to live out these paradoxical principles. Because only when you come to the end of yourself can you begin to experience the full, blessed, and whole life Jesus offers.
Many who have attended his crusades, watched his daily television ministry, or have seen him on programs such as Larry King Live have asked, "Who is this man? And how did he rise to such a place of prominence?"
You'll travel to Jaffa, Israel, and learn of the events that shaped the life of Benedictus, the oldest son in a family of eight children of Greek and Armenian heritage. And you will read of the deep conflicts in the Hinn household when, after the family immigrated to Canada, Benny had a dramatic, life-changing spiritual experience.
The journey from a small church in Oshawa, Ontario, to the largest stadiums and arenas in the world is filled with love, laughter, and tears. It is also a story of miracles.
He Touched Me, the autobiography of Benny Hinn, will inspire you. It reveals what can heppen when one person becomes totally yielded to the holy Spirit.
The Bakers, formerly missionaries in Indonesia and Hong Kong, share how their work for the past eight years in Mozambique, one of the poorest nations on earth, has borne spiritual fruit beyond their wildest dreams. Every day presents multiple impossible needs. But in the face of everything Satan can do, as Rolland and Heidi lay down their lives and "minister to the one," there is always enough.
Readers will discover that the simple practice of choosing to step out and trust God every day unleashes his provision for every need.
What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me? builds on the message of Follow Me to motivate readers to experience our grand purpose: to exalt the glory of God by spreading Christ’s gospel—to make disciples who are making disciples. This booklet is a great resource to share with others to discuss crucial faith questions in a personal and grace-filled manner and engage others to be disciple-makers in obedience to Jesus. Ideal for small groups or personal and mass evangelism.
Some are killed.
But after the chaos and fire and smoke, one young woman comes back to life.
In this thrilling true tale, death does not have the final word. From the first time Samaa heard the Lord Jesus calling her out of Islam into faith in Him, till she met Him face to face in heaven, her life is marked by God's supernatural love and power. Full of hope and encouragement, and overflowing with Jesus' love, her riveting account reveals the power of God to break through any circumstance--and is a moving reminder that, in a place beyond what we can imagine, we have a Savior waiting to welcome us face to face.
All Christian disciples have one thing in common: as they carry the gospel across the ocean and across the street, persecution will become the norm for those who choose to follow Jesus. How believers respond in the face of persecution reveals everything about their level of faith and obedience.
The Insanity of Obedience is a bold challenge to global discipleship. Nik Ripken exposes the danger of safe Christianity and calls readers to something greater. The Insanity of Obedience challenges Christians in the same, provocative way that Jesus did. This book dares you - and prepares you - to cross the street and the oceans with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Some of Jesus' instructions sound uncomfortable and are potentially dangerous. We may be initially encouraged by His declaration, "I am sending you out." But how are we to respond when He then tells us that He is sending us out "like sheep among wolves"?
In light of the words of Jesus, how can modern day believers rest comfortably in the status quo? How can we embrace casual faith in light of the radical commands of Jesus which are anything but casual? Ripken brings decades of ministry experience in some of the most persecuted areas of the world to bear on our understanding of faith in Jesus. The Insanity of Obedience is a call to roll up your sleeves . . . and to follow and partner with Jesus in the toughest places on this planet.
"We have the high privilege of answering Jesus' call to go," Ripken says. "But let us be clear about this: we go on His terms, not ours. If we go at all, we go as sheep among wolves."
Jesus gives us Himself. And He gives us the tools necessary for those who dare to journey with Him.
Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and friend of Eugene Cho
"A gutsy and gritty exposé on the motives of a generation in love with the idea of saving the world, Overrated by Eugene Cho is a necessary exercise for all who desire to truly be a part of the change God wants to bring to humanity. This book is real, personal, necessary, and a must-read, so we can all continue on the path toward justice for all."
Louie Giglio, Passion City Church/Passion Conferences
"When you're done talking about the gospel and are ready for your walking to be the gospel: Start here. I needed this book."
Ann Voskamp, author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts Many people today talk about justice, but are they living justly? They want to change the world, but are they being changed themselves?
Eugene Cho has a confession: "I like to talk about changing the world but I don't really like to do what it takes." If this is true of the man who founded the One Day's Wages global antipoverty movement, then what must it take to act on one's ideals? Cho does not doubt the sincerity of those who want to change the world. But he fears that today's wealth of resources and opportunities could be creating "the most overrated generation in history. We have access to so much but end up doing so little." He came to see that he, too, was overrated.
As Christians, Cho writes, "our calling is not simply to change the world but to be changed ourselves." In Overrated, Cho shows that it is possible to move from talk to action.
Join J. Warner Wallace, former atheist, seasoned cold-case detective, and popular national speaker as he tackles his most important case ... with you on the jury!
With the expertise of a cold-case detective, J. Warner examines eight critical pieces of evidence in the “crime scene” of the universe to determine if they point to a Divine Intruder. If you have ever wondered if something (or someone) outside the natural realm created the universe and everything in it, this is the case for you.
Riveting and fast paced, In the Land of Blue Burqas depicts sharing the love and truth of Christ with women living in Afghanistan, which has been called "the world's most dangerous country in which to be born a woman."
These stories are honest and true. The harsh reality of their lives is not sugar-coated, and that adds to the impact of this book. Through storytelling, the author shows how people who don't know Christ come to see Him, His truth, and His beauty. The stories provide insight into how a Jesus-follower brought Jesus' teachings of the Kingdom of God to Afghanistan. They reveal the splendor of Christ, the desire of human hearts, and that precious instance where the two meet.
All of the names ofthose involved—including Kate's—plus the locations have been changed to protect the participants.
One of Desiring God's Top 15 Books of 2015
Hearts & Minds Bookstore's Best Books of 2015, Social Criticism and Cultural Engagement In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade—to make a convincing case for the gospel to people who are not interested in it. In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing. But we are strikingly weak in persuasion—the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, "Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we." Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners' assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the gospel. This book is the fruit of forty years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of our era.
When Audra Grace Shelby and her husband felt God calling them to minister in the Middle East, she was fearful--how would she raise her children in the heart of conservative Islam?
Armed with prayers and a faith that always seemed too small, the family made the move to Yemen, enduring deadly illness, uncertainty, and the unnerving experience of being Christians in an Islamic culture.
Yet God was at work, and Audra was invited to see what few Christian women have seen: behind the veils of Muslim women. Here she shares about the friendships she forged, about the opportunities to minister when her new friends' hopes shriveled and their own religion faltered--and how the grace of God touched lives in the midst of an enemy stronghold. With humor, passion, and honesty, she shows readers glimpses of life deep in the heart of Islam and the yearning heart of our loving God.
What do you do when you encounter someone who isn't like you? How do you feel? What goes on inside you? How do you relate to him or her? These are the kinds of questions we want to explore in this book. Few things are more basic to life than expressing love and respect for people who look, think, believe, act, and see differently than we do. We want to adapt to the barrage of cultures around us while still remaining true to ourselves. We want to let the world change us so that we can be part of changing the world. And we want to move from the desire to love across the chasm of cultural difference to the ability to express our love for people of difference. Relating lovingly to our fellow human beings is central to what it means to be human. And when it comes down to it, Christian ministry at its core is interacting with all kinds of people in ways that give them glimpses of Jesus in us.
The billions of us sharing planet Earth together have so much in common. We're all born. We all die. We're all created in the image of God. We eat, sleep, persevere, and care for our young. We long for meaning and purpose, and we develop societies with those around us. But the way we go about the many things we have in common is deeply rooted in our unique personalities and cultures. So although we have so much in common, we have as much or more about us that's different.
When Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, he revealed that the key for reaching the world with the gospel is found in sending, not gathering. Though many churches focus time and energy on attracting people and counting numbers, the real mission of the church isn’t how many people you can gather. It’s about training up disciples and then sending them out. The true measure of success for a church should be its sending capacity, not its seating capacity.
But there is a cost to this. To see ministry multiply, we must release the seeds God has placed in our hands. And to do that, we must ask ourselves whether we are concerned more with building our kingdom or God’s.
In Gaining By Losing, J.D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church’s priorities around God’s mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don’t need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches can, and must, do both.
In this basic introduction to faith, D. A. Carson takes seekers, new Christians, and small groups through the big story of Scripture. He helps readers to know what they believe and why they believe it. The companion leader's guide helps evangelistic study groups, small groups, and Sunday school classes make the best use of this book in group settings.
But in one terrifying moment, with a gun pointed at his head, Dimas had to decide: How far would he go? Was he finished taking reckless chances to rule as a god of the streets? Would he dare to entrust his life to the real God—an even riskier path? Because that God would send Dimas back down the darkest streets he’d ever known on a rescue mission after those still in danger.
Street God is the true story of one man’s against-all-odds journey from the streets to the altar and back again. A modern-day The Cross and the Switchblade for a new generation, it reveals that we’re never too far gone for God to change us—and shows how a single spark can illuminate even the darkest existence.
We are poised at a key moment in history. Amidst pain and chaos, we can turn the tide of evil in our lands. With excitement and profound insight, seasoned prophetic leader Lou Engle shows how: through bold faith and aggressive, passionate prayer and fasting.
Here he equips you with the dynamic, practical tools you need to answer the call of countercultural consecration. Using Jesus as the role model, he reveals that 40 days of prayer and fasting always precede breakthrough, revelations of God's glory, breakage of demonic hindrances, and more. As we join together in fasting and intercession, we'll see victory in the critical issues of our day--and we'll awaken the nations for Christ.
Global revival and transformation is imminent. Will you answer the call?
Unfortunately, the mission practices of most churches stand on weak foundations. Life on Mission gives gospel-centered, biblical, practical foundations for how missions was meant to be: an everyone-together effort.
Life on Mission is a thorough yet simple guide for everyday missionaries—electricians, lawyers, church planters, students, etc.—that equips them with truths and practices for living out the gospel within their own community. Adaptable to any context, Life on Mission functions great as both an individual and small-group study.
Threaded with engaging stories and probing reflection questions, Life on Mission will help you and your community take bold steps to living life on mission.
This refreshing, practical resource is ideal for churches and individuals. Readers will discover how God uses their everyday encounters for great things when they switch from trying to witness effectively to effectively being a witness through communication and compassion.
Yet those believers fail to recognize that God has already established who and how we are to evangelize. In The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, Dr. Mark Dever seeks to answer the four basic questions about evangelism that many Christians ask: Who should we evangelize? How should we evangelize? What is evangelism? Why should we evangelize? In his answers Dever draws on New Testament truths and helps believers apply those truths in practical ways. As readers understand the fundamentals of evangelism, they will begin to develop a culture of evangelism in their lives and their local churches.