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Posted June 27, 2013
I have recently read numerous books on ministry and church plant
I have recently read numerous books on ministry and church planting for post-modern times, but I repeatedly passed up this book without even reading the reviews simply because the cover looked so weird and “What is Church Zero anyway?” I only decided to read Church Zero after attending a class taught by Peyton Jones at a church planter boot camp. He had a lot to say that I needed to hear. Church Zero is a worthy read. A must read if you are not satisfied with the current effectiveness of the church in reaching the lost. I am not aware of any other books covering the same material. I will not attempt to cover the many details of Church Zero as others have provided adequate synopsis of the book. Rather I will share the points that have most influenced me.
The church in America has sped down the freeway just doing what she does. Her eyes glazed over with highway hypnoses as postmodernism crept into American culture. Now only a good jolt of a massive chug hole could shake her out of it. That is exactly what Peyton got when he returned to America after twelve years abroad. He looked around and said, “Where are the youth? They are not in church anymore!” Yet the church continues without concern just as it had in Europe. Without youth or new converts, the remaining church ages and passes away. Not only does Jones see the problem he also knows the solution because of his experience as a missionary to Wales. He has faced the barren results of ministry in the post-modern, post-Christian European culture, which now infects America as well. Today Americas’ own back yard is the third largest mission field in the world. The American churches remain largely clueless as to how to reach this magnitude of lost souls. We would do well to learn from the experiences of those who has have dealt with the same mind set in Europe. This is where Church Zero comes in.
Stumped when the usual ministry outreach methods did not work, Jones turned to scripture to investigate church methods. Peyton studied the book of Acts until he realized the church had left the original pattern Christ intended His church to follow. In Church Zero, Peyton Jones points out these changes and explains from church history why they occurred and their lasting effect on the church. It is illuminating to say the least. He illustrates the need to return to the original model of Kingdom work as an effectual model for the American church today.
Todays’ church ignores the gifts Christ gave to her. I understand Eph. 4:11-13 to speak of people Christ gives to the church as parts of the Christian body to provide leadership. I have noticed many churches today are “pastored” by teachers that continuously move through one bible book after another without any prophetic element of “preaching” the message of God for that congregation at that particular moment in time to accomplish God’s purpose for them. This grows an anemic church. Still I had stopped short of seeing the real problem. We need a variety of leaders; a team like Christ gave the church to lead the congregation to accomplish all that God desires and has in store for His church. I had missed the importance of the leadership team even though scripture spells it out. That one point affects how we do church at so many levels as well as the outcomes of our work. I am thankful to have read Church Zero.
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Posted April 28, 2013