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Total church : a radical reshaping around…
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Total church : a radical reshaping around gospel and community (udgave 2007)

af Tim Chester, Steve Timmis

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
883618,550 (3.99)Ingen
"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 children's 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.… (mere)
Medlem:jyeung82
Titel:Total church : a radical reshaping around gospel and community
Forfattere:Tim Chester
Andre forfattere:Steve Timmis
Info:Nottingham : Inter-Varsity, 2007.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community af Tim Chester

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Tried to gradually work through and make notes. Stresses throughout importance of God's word and community. Like the subtitle of a radical reshaping around gospel and community. ( )
  cbinstead | Sep 8, 2016 |
The theological principles outlined in the first two chapters are worth the price of the book. The rest of the book explains how the theological principles apply to various aspects of church/ministry (evangelism, church planting, etc.). While I have some quibbles with some of their practical applications, the book is very good, a helpful resource for all who want to think well about the church. ( )
  codyacunningham | May 9, 2016 |
The first two chapters of this book (laying the twin foundations of gospel and community) were excellent and worth the cost of the book. The following chapters examining various aspects of church life built on these two pillars were uneven. Some, like the chapters on evangelism and discipleship, were good while others were off the mark. Still, a good book, challenging all of us to think through how we live life together as God's people. ( )
  jerrikobly | Dec 9, 2010 |
The term “missional” is over-used and much abused today. Some bristle at the descriptor for it’s cutting-edge, postmodern feel. But the basic gist of the idea makes a lot of sense. It all boils down to going vs. sending. Simply put: attracting people to a church with it’s programs is not the NT model for “doing church”. Rather than sending people to our church, we should be going to where the people are and reaching them. We should gather as believers to be built up, edified, and most of all to worship Christ together. We then leave the assembly to take Christ to the lost all around us. If that’s what “missional” means, I’m all for it!

How do we do this effectively, however? How can I get my own self to open my mouth boldly and also to compassionately interact with the people God has placed in my life? These are questions which demand answers.

I think we need to get creative, and make sure our church activities don’t sap us of any time and strength left to think missionally regarding our own neighborhoods and communities. We need to envision ourselves as missionaries to the places we live.

God ultimately has to guide us and empower our ministry, but there are strategies which may enhance our effectiveness in God’s mission. One of the tools and methods that I most believe could work, has also been ignored by the wider church. In fact I still haven’t come to a place where I have liberty to attempt this (or is it just plain ol’ courage I lack?).

I’m talking about using small groups as home church-meetings, in a sense. We can invite people to come to these smaller meetings where we are more open and real and less “church-ly”. We can let the lost see how Christianity is lived out in our homes and how it radically shapes our outlook. I look in vain to the New Testament for a one-man-gets-up-to-speak-while-the-thousand-congregants-sit-down-to-listen-quietly model of church teaching and preaching. I see believers interacting with one another, teachers interrupting each other as God gives them a word, and prophets judging the prophets in a vibrant, lively way.

I’m a little leery of changing things up too drastically, however. We have hundreds of years of tradition, not to mention the fact that preaching can be very effective in people’s lives. So what about some kind of mix between an emphasis on home groups (where evangelism and discipleship can happen, and where gifted teachers can exercise their gifts) and corporate gatherings of the entire church for preaching and extended worship?

This kind of model is described in detail, in a book I gobbled up, called Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. In the book they talk about living with gospel intentionality. They show how an emphasis on community is encouraged in Scripture. They see evangelism as a three-fold cord: building relationships, sharing the gospel, and introducing people to community (by means of the home groups). All the while, they encourage the Gospel and the Word to stay central. But they also encourage community involvement, and meeting social needs in the name of Christ.

The benefits of the emphasis on home groups is that church planting becomes easier. Training and discipleship can happen while people are ministering in home settings, and seeing ministry modeled up close and personal. Furthermore, the togetherness that this model fosters, aids in purity and spiritual growth, as we really can’t become holy by ourselves, nor were we expected to (think Heb. 3:12-14).

Total Church does have some radical ideas, but I appreciated how they connected everything to the gospel. It’s a book I’ll be picking up again, as I continue sorting out how best we should do church for God’s glory, our growth, and the eternal benefit of the lost around us. I confidently recommend this book to anyone interested in how to spur on evangelism, or mission, in their own church context.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Crossway Books for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review. ( )
  bobhayton | Oct 6, 2010 |
Total Church is one of the best books I've read in a long time and may be THE best books I've read on church. As the subtitle suggests, the authors argue that church is to be radically reshaped around gospel and community. They argue for three things:

"Christian practice must be (1) gospel-centered in the sense of being word-centered, (2) gospel-centered in the sense of being mission-centered, and (3) community-centered." (p. 16)

The authors immediately nail their colors to the mast, distinguishing their perspective from both conservative evangelicals and the emerging church. With emerging church, they agree that conservatives are often bad at community. But with conservatives, they agree that the emerging church is sometimes soft on truth. This book proposes an alternative to both, churches that are both gospel-centered (with both a word-centered focus and a missional focus) and community-centered.

"Rigorously applying these principles has the potential to lead to some fundamental and thoroughgoing changes in the way we do church," warn the authors (p. 18). This is no entrenched defense of traditional church structures or practices. I found the book stimulating, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting, and sometimes personally-threatening.

Total Church is divided into two parts.

I. Part one is on "Gospel and Community in Principle" and argues for each in turn. Chapter one, "Why Gospel?" discusses both word and mission. "Christianity must be word-centered," the authors argue, because "God rules through his gospel word" (p. 24) and "mission-centered because God extends his rule through his gospel word" (p. 28). These assertions are fleshed out with close, but non-technical, attention to the text of Scripture, and real-life stories that show how the principles work out in practice. In fact, two of the strengths of this book are the pervasive use of Scripture and the multiple stories and examples of application. Chapter 2, "Why Community?" argues that "The Christian community is central to Christian Identity" (p. 39) and "Christian mission" (p. 47).

II. Part Two of the book focuses on "Gospel and Community in Practice," by applying the principles of part one (being word-centered, mission-centered, and community-centered) to the following areas:
*Evangelism (chapter 3)
*Social Involvement (4)
*Church Planting (5)
*World Mission (6)
*Discipleship and Training (7)
*Pastoral Care (8)
*Spirituality (9)
*Theology (10)
*Apologetics (11)
*Children and Young People (12)
*Success (13)

There are too many helpful insights from these chapters to share in a brief review. But here are some examples from the chapter on evangelism. The authors argue that there are "three strands of evangelism" (1) building relationships, (2) introducing people to community, and (3) sharing the gospel (p. 60-61). Their approach is holistic, relational, and driven by genuine concern for both the gospel and people. You won't find gimmicks or techniques here. In their words, "most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality" (p. 63).

Evangelism is to be a community project, which means that "our different gifts and personalities can complement one another. Some people are good at building relationships with new people. Some are socialites - the ones who will organize a trip or an activity. Some people are great at hospitality. Some are good at initiating gospel conversations. Some are good at confronting heart issues" (p. 62). A team approach combines the various gifts, which helps counter the guilt and despondency so many people feel when thinking about evangelism. "By making evangelism a community project, [we] take seriously the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit . . . Everyone has a part to play - the new Christian, the introvert, the extrovert, the eloquent, the stuttering, the intelligent, the awkward. I may be the one who has begun to build a relationship with my neighbor, but in introducing him to community, it is someone else who shares the gospel with him. That is not only legitimate - it is positively thrilling!" (p. 62).

As you can see, this approach focuses on all three priorities: the word, mission, and community. This is how the authors approach each of the eleven topics listed above.

I can hardly recommend this book highly enough. I will be sharing it with my staff, elders, and other church leaders (I'm a pastor). I'll also be talking about this book with friends, exploring how to apply it in our congregational life, and referencing it often. If you want a fresh approach to church and mission that doesn't lose sight of the gospel and isn't just a plug-n-play program, get this book. You'll be glad you did. ( )
  brianghedges | Oct 23, 2009 |
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"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 children's 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.

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