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Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission (Re: Lit Books) Paperback – 30 Sep 2012

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We live in an increasingly post-Christian culture. More and more we find ourselves on the margins as less and less people have any intention of ever attending church. What used to work doesn't work anymore and we need to adapt.

Helping us to see the way forward, this book offers practical ideas and personal stories for engaging with Western society. Find out how to effectively reach people in the context of everyday life and take hold of the opportunity to develop missional communities focused on Jesus.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Will help ground Christians in the Gospel in order to help them witness to the world for the Gospel 7 Oct. 2012
By Dave J. Jenkins - Published on
Format: Paperback
Recent years have seen an increase in books and blogs on what the church is and how we can move from being primarily focused on just programs to focusing on what the Bible teaches about what a church should be. Continuing in this recent trend is seasoned Pastors Tim Chester and Steve Timmis wrote Total Church and now Everyday Church. Total Church argued that the Christian gospel and the Christian community should be central to every aspect of life and mission. Everyday Church builds on that foundation by calling for the Church to be an everyday church with an everyday mission. The focus of this book is a call to shift our focus from putting on events to creating attractional communities. This book calls Christians to rediscover the missional call of the people of God in order to recover witness to Christ muddied by nominal Christianity. The book does this by expositing the book of 1st Peter a book that calls Christians and the Church to be in the world but not of the world by being salt and light in the world.

One of the things I appreciated the most about this book is the following statement: "We need to do church and mission in the context of everyday life. We can no longer think of church as a meeting on a Sunday morning. We must think of church as a community of people who share life, ordinary life. And we cannot think of mission as an event that takes place in an ecclesiastical building. Of course, there will continue to be a role for special events, but the bedrock of mission will be ordinary life. Mission must be done primarily in the context of everyday life. An everyday church with an everyday mission" (28).

What I just quoted is a need perspective in the current conversation on the nature of the Church. The Church has been charged with a message that reaches the lost, mends the broken hearted and calls the hard-hearted out of rebellion and into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are not to be "church-hoppers", or isolate themselves in a "Christian cliché" or even isolate themselves at home on Sunday or throughout the week, but rather to join in genuine heartfelt worship and fellowship with God and one another in community with the people of God. The point of "an everyday church with an everyday mission" is an important one because many think that everything is to be done by the elders, deacons and Pastors of local churches when in fact the average lay person preaches far more through how they work, and how they live to the lost in their work places everyday than church officers ever do. The fact that Christians have been charged with a mission from God and empowered by the Holy Spirit means they are to take seriously the message and adopt a lifestyle that conforms to the message they believe (the Gospel). It's not just a "Gospel life" that we are to live, but rather a life that is founded upon the Gospel that impacts the way we live.

Everyday Church is a helpful book that builds upon the foundation of Total Church which helped me think through more of what a Church should be like. Everyday Church is equally an important book that needs to be considered by those thinking through what the Church is and how we can reach our culture for Christ. At the heart of this book as with at the heart of what Christians are to proclaim is the Gospel. What we believe about the Gospel must affect how we live. Thankfully this is precisely where Everyday Church excels at balancing what we should believe with how we are to live which in and of itself is needed in contemporary Christian thinking. I recommend seminary students, Pastors and lay Christians read Everyday Church to gain insight into how the Gospel should ground our lives in Christ and also our witness to the world for the Gospel.

Title: Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission (Re: Lit Books)

Author: Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

Publisher: Crossway (2012)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic read and follow up to Total Church 1 Oct. 2012
By Pal - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In short, this book is excellent, buy it and read it.

Gospel Communities are defined as "a group of people with a shared life and a shared mission."

It offers practical insight as it walks you through the book of 1 Peter. The insights are not theories as the authors actually live this out in their church community. It is also a call for Christians to live with everyday Gospel intentionality.

Contents Include:
1) Life at the Margins
2) Everyday Community
3) Everyday Pastoral Care
4) Everyday Mission
5) Everyday Evangelism
6) Hope at the Margins
Conclusion: Next Steps

The book isn't very long, is an easy read and well worth the time.

I also highly recommend Total Church as well as A Meal With Jesus.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I love this book! 20 Mar. 2013
By Luke Geraty - Published on
Format: Paperback
Fair warning. I am a huge fan of just about everything that I read from Tim Chester. It's borderline "fan boy" status. Some people like Piper or Driscoll or Warren or other authors a lot. I like Chester a lot. What he writes about the gospel and about community resonates in my soul.

So you should be not be surprised that I read his latest book, written with Steve Timmis, and loved it. Actually, I love Steve Timmis too.

Their new book, Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission, is really a continuation of the gospel-centered missional community that they wrote about in their phenomenally helpful book, Total Church. You might remember that Total Church was one of the four church planting resources that I thought every planter should own.

The book is super gospely (is that a word?), super community oriented, and super missional. It chapters are as follows:

Life at the Margins
Everyday Community
Everyday Pastoral Care
Everyday Mission
Everyday Evangelism
Hope at the Margins

What's so great about the book is that it tackles these subjects byway of expositionally working through 1 Peter.

If you are interested in learning more about missional communities within the Reformed evangelical stream, this is a good introduction. Chester and Timmis are winsome, engaging, experienced, and mindful of how they can be used to help the churches that are outside of their specific tradition. Will you agree with everything they say? Well, do you agree with everything that anyone says? Probably not. But you will benefit from this book! Highly recommend!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Every Day Church by Tim Chester & Steve Timmis 8 Jan. 2013
By Kevin M. Adams - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every Day Church is a practical and challenging call to live out the Gospel in Community. Chester and Timmis use the book of 1 Peter as their plot line for this book.

The Chapters include; Life at the Margins (1:1-12), Everyday Community (1:13-2:8), Everyday Pastoral Care (1:22-2:3), Everyday Mission (2:9-3:16), Everyday Evangelism (3:15-16), Hope at the Margins (3:8-5:14).

Chester & Timmis argue that 21st century Christianity is similar to 1st century Christianity in that we are at odds with the prevailing culture, we are strangers to the ways of the world and if we really live out the high calling of Jesus we will most likely face questions as to what we are doing (and why?) as well as persecution.

As the authors argue, we cannot be content with programs, buildings and a "build it and they will come" attitude. More and more Americans are growing up with no biblical literacy and no understanding of the Jesus of the Bible. We must go out to them and meet them where they are.

Living the Gospel for Chester and Timmis seems to boil down to properly understanding the Gospel and its implications for everyday living and the uber important concept of Christian community.

While this book may be considered part of the missional church/church planting spectrum I would argue that Chester and Timmis go beyond that. Yes, they give biblical understanding to those ideas but they do so much more and that is why I heartily recommend the book.

As I was reading last night, I realized this is a commentary on 1 Peter (I need to re-file where it is in my library!). However, by about half to three quarters of the way through the book I had to stop again and say - wait this is Biblical Counseling. Yes the book is a top read because it combines exegesis, commentary and application of 1 Peter with real Biblical Counseling in addition to being a manual on community, discipleship and church planting.
The Chapter "Everyday Pastoral Care" is worth the price of the book (as are several other chapters!). In this chapter five principles of community-based, gospel-centered, mutual pastoral care are explained.

1. We pastor one another in everyday life

2. We pastor one another in community

3. We pastor one another over a lifetime

4. We pastor one another with grace

5. We pastor one another with good news

The beauty of this chapter is the challenge, not to dispense with 'the Pastor' but to realize that we are all called to 'pastor' each other, to be a regular part of each others lives - challenging and equipping one another in love (deep love).

Additionally, four liberating truths are presented (these alone are food for life). Because we tend to regularly exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:24-25) we must be constantly reminded that;

1. God is great, so we do not have to be in control.

2. God is glorious, so we do not have to fear others.

3. God is good, so we do not have to look elsewhere.

4. God is gracious, so we do not have to prove ourselves.

The following indicators of our tendency to violate these principles are outlined in a separate blog post.[...]

The Chapter on Everyday Mission challenges us to get out into the world and interact with our neighbors and make new relationships. Go for a walk and talk to someone, invite people over for dinner (not just your Christian friends).Ten questions are provided to help us evaluate ourselves in this area.

The Chapter Everyday Evangelism provides a very helpful and much needed method of re-thinking our approach to bringing people to Christ. For people who have no understanding of the degree to which they are separated from God, but do recognize the struggles in life, Chester and Timmis provide a framework based on Creation (My Identity), Fall (My problem), Redemption (My solution), Consumation (My hope) in which they provide examples to re-orient our thinking to better understand what is really going on under the surface of peoples lives (and our own) as we cry out in frustration, usually demonstrating false views of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Consummation.

This paradigm is then connected with the Liberating Truths prevented early, demonstrating the wholeness and Gospel contentedness of this approach and the book in general.

If we want to see a movement of God in America in the 21st century then we must get back to basics - genuine understanding of the Gospel and its implications for how we live life, daily community where we help each other grow in Christ, public not private demonstrations of Christianity, all driven by a deep love - first for Christ and then for others.
Great book! Read it and then Practice it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful and convicting - we bought a case to hand out 11 Mar. 2013
By M. Keating - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The church in the west is terribly flawed and it shows in so many ways. Consumerism, rugged individualism and privacy have all crept their way from the world into the church. It's sad and not the way God meant it to be.

This book is a follow up to Total Church, but it is not necessary to read Total Church first. I probably would read it first if you plan to read both. They cover similar matierial from different angles.

I wholeheartedly agree with the over glowing reviews here and don't feel the need to restate it all, but I would say the highlight of the book for me was the chapter on evangelism and how the authors positioned people's story in contrast to God's story in the Creation/Fall/Redemption/Consummation model. It really is a brilliant way to interpret people who you meet and I need to do it more. I have used the approach not only evangelistically but also in the counseling I do.

If you are interested enough in the book to be reading this review then you ought to buy it and read it. If you get hooked like I did you will be done in a week and it could change your whole philosophy of ministry in practical, everyday ways.
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