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Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People (IX Marks)

Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People (IX Marks) [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Leeman , Matt Chandler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

What is the most effective way to grow a church? It's
not a new methodology or cultural outreach strategy, it's...the Word of God. 
In this book, Jonathan Leeman wants you to realize that the Word, working through
God's Spirit, is responsible for the growth of God's church and we need to
trust it! Leeman not only informs and equips the leadership of local churches
for greatest effectiveness in their preaching ministry but explains how to translate
that into the life of the church throughout the week. The book also deals with
two errors - not trusting the Word (resulting in a pragmatic ministry philosophy) and
not living in light of the Word, (resulting in a ministry philosophy of "preaching
is enough").  

Reverberation explains the pulpit ministry
and traces the theme of how the Word continues through the life of the church. Both
theological and practical, Reverberation focuses on how the church hears,
responds, discusses, implements and is transformed by the Word.  No high-octane
production, superstar personalities, or postmodern entreaties, just stuff that is
really old, really good, and really powerful! 

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 491 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0802422993
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (27 Jan 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004KZP42A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #594,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reverberated with me 9 Feb 2012
As someone who is studying the nature of, in particular, preaching, this book came at a great time in my research. Leeman makes a great case for ensuring that the Word is central to your church, as well as careful guidance on ensuring that if you are a preacher, that you are preaching the Word. An easy read, but by no means simple, I found myself nodding in agreement and reaching for my highlighter pen many times. Worth a read for any church member wanting to grow, and essential for any preacher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prudent and Timely Wisdom 23 Mar 2011
By Alissa Marie Graham - Published on
I just finished Reverberation by Jonathan Leeman. It is one of those books that clearly brings forth biblical truth that a lot of us take for granted, don't understand the importance of, or just ignorantly forget about. It is also one of the best books I have read in a while and I definitely recommend it. Any church member would do themselves and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ a lot of good by going through this book.

Reverberation is about how God's word brings light, freedom, and action to His people. Leeman asks straightforward and necessary questions, helping us to see that maybe we have not rightly prioritized God's word, some even loosing confidence in the Word of God. The goal of Reverberate is to essentially to help us see that God's word, working through God's spirit, is God's primary instrument for growing God's church. In fact, God's word is the most powerful force in the universe. God created the universe through his word (Genesis 1:3). He is recreating it through His word (2 Cor 4:6). And He sustains all things by His word (Hebrews 1:3).

Of course we give lip service to that, and we "know" that stuff. But how does that knowledge actually translate into how we choose a church to belong to? How does it translate as church leaders wanting to grow their churches? Does it?

This is one of those books that I wish I could write a review by just quoting the whole thing to you.

The book concentrates on three main topics: the word, the sermon, and the reverberation, and traces how the word of God should reverberate through them all.

1. The word invites and divides, acts, frees, and gathers.
I love how Leeman challenges us to build our churches based on biblical ideals, and that people should join our church because they are in love with the gospel, not because our church is the cool church or the baby boomer church, etc. He also points out that there is a difference between "removing distractions" from the word of God, such as uncomfortable seating, and "creating attractions" in our churches through clothing style, or dramas. He even gives a helpful look at how to remove distractions but not create attractions through clothing, humor, music, charisma, and good works. These are simple concepts, but how many actually take the time to intentionally think about how to simply remove distractions so people can focus on the Word that is being taught, which is what Paul calls us to in 1 Corinthians 1. We should take away all distractions and look to what the Bible wants us to adorn our church with: the holiness and sacrificial love of Christians as they live out their lives together.

The book also challenges readers to unite their churches around one thing: the gospel. Not social affinity. Not ethnicity. Not "coolness." Not intellectualism. Not age. Leeman proposes that giving into that temptation risks undermining the gospel. Can I get an amen?

2. The sermon should expose, announce, and confront.
In a section titled "How Then Do We Preach?" Leeman has some very intelligent things to say that I wish I could rip out and just give to all the pastors I know. He speaks to using creativity very wisely and carefully, realizing that it is NOT our creativity that builds the church, but it is the word of God. The goal of any sermon is to expose God's word, not hide it among our creatively packaged opinions. He compares it to the mailman, a reporter, and a receptionist- they don't deliver their own letters, but someone else's, they don't make up the news, they report it, they don't receive a phone call and pass on a random message, they pass on the caller's message. Likewise, a pastor must preach the word of God and not his own message or ideas. He proposes that the best method of preaching is expositional, so as to "expose God's word" and let IT set the agenda, instead of coming to it with our own agenda, which is a danger of topical preaching.

I really appreciated how Leeman approaches sermon theory. Much of what he says is counter cultural, even among the Christian culture, but in my opinion, he is spot on.

3. The reverberation of the word- how it works, how it sings, prays, disciples, scatters, and once again invites.
One thing that stood out to me in this section was the chapter titled "The Reverberation Sings." The section is talking about the point of singing in church, and the point is that "singing in church should be about the church singing." It goes on to say that
"God has given music to the gathered church so that the people together can own, affirm, rejoice in, and unite around God's word. Far better than the sweet harmonies of a few trained singers is the rough and hale sound of pardoned criminals, delighting with one voice in their Saviour."
What a different, glorious, and BIBLICAL take on the purpose of musical worship than the typical concert style "special music" programming of many churches today.

Again, I really enjoyed this book. I think Jonathan Leeman shares with us some really helpful and prudent wisdom about the word of God and how the word "brings light, freedom, and action to God's people." My brief overview does not do it justice.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God Dwells with His People through His Word 14 Mar 2011
By Richard R. Blake - Published on
In recent years Evangelicalism has experienced a pattern of church growth with an emphasis on methodology using a cultural outreach strategy. In his book "Reverberation," Jonathan Leeman establishes the premise that "God's Word working through God's Spirit, is God's primary instrument for growing God's church."

In a natural progression Leeman presents the evangelist, the theological foundation of the Word, the individual's heart, the local church, the sermon, and role of the Word in music, prayer, discipleship, and mission. He demonstrates why we can have faith in God's Word to "create, sustain, and empower daily obedience to the Word." He warns of the danger of the growing loss of confidence in God's Word among Evangelicals.

Leeman's writing is Biblically sound, thorough in presentation, analytical, and convincing in content. "Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People" is important and timely in light of the recent emphasis on contextualizing, spiritual formation, renewal, and the missional church.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reverberation by Jonathan Leeman 20 Jun 2013
By CTerry - Published on
Reverberation by Jonathan Leeman

I received this book as a review copy from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This work was something about which I had heard some time ago prior to requesting it as a review copy. Leeman is involved with Nine Marks, which is a para-church organization that grew out of the local church ministry of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Nine Marks produces some very high quality resources for the church. The resources are certainly reformed, congregational, and baptistic. Overall, I appreciate what Nine Marks does.

Prior to reading this book I have read articles by Leeman and listened to interviews he has done. He comes across as humble but unwavering in his biblical convictions. In Reverberation he says some very important things about the sufficiency of Scripture. Leeman holds to the doctrines of total depravity, election, and irresistible grace with which I am personally in agreement. As a result of such convictions, Leeman looks at Isaiah 55:10-11 and rightly recognizes that God's Word always accomplishes His will. At times the Word brings judgment, and other times it brings repentance and salvation. Leeman does not entirely dispose of ministry strategy, architecture, musical style, and attire. But, he does properly regard those things as subordinate to the place God's Word should have in the church. He continually points to the Holy Spirit's use of Scripture to bring light, life, and freedom to hearers. Everything else is secondary and should be seen as such. Leeman calls for a proper perspective in local churches.

Jonathan Leeman seeks throughout the remainder of the book to expound the implications and applications of such a Bible-centered life and ministry. The Word reverberates through preaching, teaching, singing, praying, and discipleship. As we study and are taught the Word, it informs how we should think and live. The Word determines what is true and proper for believers. Leeman argues that Scripture should effect everything we do. Our conversations away from church gatherings - in the home, workplace, coffee shop - should be filled with and guided by Spirit-enabled application of God's Word.

Sadly, this book is extremely necessary today. Leeman communicates nothing ground-breaking, nor does he intend to do so. He writes what genuine believers, who have held to the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, have practiced and called others to do so for almost 2,000 years. It appears to be a battle that must be fought in each generation. This is a quality book and message.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting God's word back at the center 12 Jun 2013
By Don Haflich - Published on
The church is at a crossroads with American culture today. Some have taken steps to make their churches more user-friendly by making worship style central, upgrading their high school ministries and having a bigger and better VBS program. Among many other things churches today are changing the way things have been done historically. One of the sad trends in Evangelicalism today is the movement towards a seeker sensitive style of preaching. The motto becomes "We are willing to do whatever it takes to get people in the door and bodies in the pews", instead of what Paul would have considered of first importance, mainly that, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures".

On the flip side of the coin I have seen, in my opinion, some churches move to a more strict orthodoxy in the way their churches are organized and their services held. In an attempt to be less seeker sensitive they turn to a more wooden liturgy and dare I say that legalism has begun to creep in the back door of some of those churches. It's at a time like this we need to get back to what the Apostles and Church fathers would have considered to be primary in the life of the church; the ministering of the gospel in the pulpit. It's this premise that Jonathan Leeman puts forth in his book, Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People.

He brings to the mind of the readers the idea that God's word should be at the forefront of Christian thought and practice. He brings us a clear view of God through the mighty power of His word and the things it accomplishes. He brings the reader in on a wave of God's word and shows how the wave forms, crashes down, and calls to the sand it has just crashed on. While Jonathan does not use the analogy of the wave I thought it a helpful idea to describe the sections Leeman uses to describe the reverberation which God accomplishes through the Word.

A theme that runs through the pages of this book is the idea that God's word will accomplish all it has set out to do. At times this includes dividing the people and effectually calling them to repentance and faith. Leeman is not afraid to state that the offense of the gospel is the aroma of life to some and the stench of death to others. He rightly points out that God's word does divide the wheat from the chaff and calls those to repentance the people the Father has given Christ. He talks about things in this book that many will find simply umbilical, though the problem lies in the reader. It's not that we don't want to believe the message of the word, as the bible points out, we can't! We can't unless the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is wrought in our hearts calling us to repent and give up our lives for the sake of the gospel.

I recommend this book to the entire church of God. Men and women from all denominations will benefit from this study of God's word. I have been helped by this book and been brought back to the right focus which the church should have in view. I pray this book will be taken up and read more than once. It's a timely message the church can ill-afford to be without.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reverberation of the Word 2 May 2011
By Corey Sosebee - Published on
The title of Jonathan Leeman's new book, Reverberation, makes use of a vivid word-picture to aid the reader in conceptualizing the path of God's word in our world. The centrality of the Word of God in our churches is, "the one necessary thing." He hopes that "Christians and church leaders from every polity will be strengthened in faith in the sufficiency of God's Word" through this book. So, let's follow this path of the reverberation of God's word with Leeman as our guide.

The book is organized into three parts: 1. the word, 2. the sermon, and 3. the reverberation.

Leeman uses the first few chapters to show us the role of the Word in the world, that is, how it functions in the life of believers and unbelievers. Leeman pleads with us that words, though they are often abused and overused and distrusted in our society, still matter. Ultimately, God's Word, because His Word is truth. And these are the only words that can give life. But how? I'll let the author speak.

"Trusting God's Word to build our churches is an act of faith. Faith in God. Faith in His Word. And such faith is not natural, even for the Christian. It's supernatural. God must give it."

Amazing. And this high view of Scripture is the foundation that Leeman builds on for the remainder of the book.

Next, we're taken to where the Word is preached and the importance of the sermon. I thought it was interesting that the second part of the book is dedicated completely to the sermon, but it's really a great section. Leeman emphasizes expository preaching all because of the central role of the Word of God.

Don't be mistaken that this chapter is written specifically for pastors. It is that, pleading with them to lift up the Scriptures, but it's also to the church as an example of how we can hold our pastors accountable. It's to help us realize and understand what we should be hearing as a Christian, and that this is important stuff! Wake up!

Finally, Leeman traces the path of the Word in the congregation after it has been preached. It reverberates through singing, praying and discipleship, all things that occur within the church. Specifically the first few, but Lemman definitely emphasizes a progression of the reverberation moving outward, beyond the walls of the church.

The last chapter is a picture of God's ultimate plan and how the church exists in this world to fulfill that plan. We gather as his people, but we have to go out, "God's word must reverberate out the church building door and into the world" to spread the good news of Christ and then return and join together once again, bringing those who heard and accepted the word.

"So serve your church and go read your Bible."


Leeman shares a glimpse of many of his personal experiences in the church in this book, and he writes openly and transparently. I am grateful for his honestly. I pray it will encourage us to be bold and assume the roles that God has given us in the church. It will be a great help for pastors and church members.

I would commend this book to the church so that we may once again reclaim a vision for God's Word and the path that should travel and reverberate in the life of the church. Let us return the God's Word being at the center of all we do as God's people.

*This book was provided by Moody Publishers as a free review copy. I am under no obligation to write a favorable review.*
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