Doing Church as a Team
By Wayne Cordeiro
216 pages, hardcover, $17.99
Reviewed by John M. De Marco
Wayne Cordeiro, senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, does a fine job of delineating the strategy that has helped New Hope become one of the nation's fastest-growing churches. A veteran church planter, Cordeiro encourages Christians to discover their gifts and richly discusses leadership development/mentoring and small group ministry frameworks.
The author encourages church leaders to understand that God has a far greater purpose for those He calls His own than simply ensuring entrance into heaven. Cordeiro latches onto principles gleaned from Ephesians 4, the section of Scripture that calls for church leaders to "equip the saints for the work of ministry." Cordeiro's every-member-as-a-minister emphasis is foundational for the "team" concept he fosters in this work.
Although much of what Cordeiro asserts has been expressed similarly in other church-growth books, a unique perspective on small group ministry is offered in chapter 9. This chapter outlines "fractal patterns," a style of clustering ministry oversight into groups of five. The five include the visionary leader who recruits four others to oversee key areas of a particular ministry. Each of these four then recruits four leaders to further carry out specific aspects of each area of ministry, and so on. Cordeiro notes that leaders immersed in these groups of five can naturally become discipleship groups, which can gradually involve all members of the church.
Doing Church as a Team, which has a companion four-hour video series, is an effective tool for church leaders. A subtle criticism of Cordeiro's work, however, could be that despite numerous biblical references intertwined throughout the book's conceptual fabric, the dynamic of "doing" seems a bit too pronounced. What is overshadowed is the apostolic, New Testament cry for the church to "be" before it "does," awaiting through vigorous prayer and receiving the filling of the Holy Spirit--and then living out the unique blessing that God has for each congregation.
Apostles and Prophets
By C. Peter Wagner
144 pages, hardcover, $16.99
Reviewed by Tom Gill
C. Peter Wagner, chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., clearly defines the role and authority of apostles and prophets in the church today in his book Apostles and Prophets. Wagner states: "The most remarkable phenomenon in Church life that we have seen in generations is taking place right now...Apostles and prophets are now being recognized as the foundation of the Church as the Bible says they should be."
Wagner asserts that God is setting into place the two primary offices of the church as outlined in Ephesians 2:19-20 and Ephesians 4:11--apostles and prophets--though he also recognizes the importance of evangelists, pastors and teachers. Wagner discusses how the offices of apostle and prophet function and how they should interact with one another. He identifies two types of apostles, vertical and horizontal, and delineates the differences between them. This book is exciting and informative. Readers get the sense that God is moving like never before and is setting in place the final elements of the church.
By Andrew Careaga
216 pages, paperback, $10.99
Reviewed by Kevin Sullivan
Baby boomers. Generation X. Who's next? The N-Geners, according to Andrew Careaga's eMinistry. Born into the digital age, this generation can maneuver through cyberspace faster than a skateboarder down a smoothly paved road, writes Careaga, a journalist and volunteer youth pastor. A ripe harvest, the Net generation is desperately searching for a personal touch from God. They may not enter the door of a traditional church, but they will access spiritual Web sites and chat rooms to research, discuss and contemplate their spiritual side.
Careaga says the church must take the gospel to N-Geners by learning how to communicate via the Internet. Pastors and lay ministers should not be fearful of this technology, but embrace it and realize that it is just another way to spread the gospel. This book is a great tool to show the body of Christ how to love, learn and log on to reach this generation for God.
Healing for Ireland
Come Heal This Land
Featuring worship leader Robin Mark, Hosanna
Reviewed by Natalie Nichols Gillespie
Come Heal This Land opens with a traditional Irish reel, "Mulhaires," featuring the pennywhistle and strings in a ditty that positively begs listeners to get up and do a jig. It sets the tone for this lively Celtic praise offering.
The album was recorded live at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, Northern Ireland, and was the idea of an Ulster minister who wanted to unite the local body. Hosanna hooked up with songwriter Robin Mark to record the project. During the recording, Mark led 600 in worship as people in the United States interceded in prayer for healing of the strife-filled country.
The title track is a stirring prayer for the healing of Ireland, inviting the homeless, the widows, the poor to come feast at the Father's table and stating: "There's a place for rest/ at your Father's breast.../ Does a cry ring out from a broken nation, from a people who have been brought low?...Come heal this land."
Come Heal This Land inspires praise for the freedom found here in America and is a great reminder that this land of freedom desperately needs a spiritual healing too. *
Cordeiro says teamwork is the key to effective ministry.