Shop now Shop now Shop now Up to 70% off Fashion Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Amazon Pantry Food & Drink Beauty Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars10
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 13 February 2013
I wish I had read "Unreached" before I began working on a church restoration project in a predominantly white, working class, area in South Bristol. It has taken me six years to learn many of the lessons spelt out in this excellent book. Both evangelistically and pastorally, this would have given insight into how to apply the gospel to people who for three generations have had almost nothing to with Jesus, his church or the Bible.

This book is a gold mine of useful information for anyone attempting to understand, and then grow, evangelical churches on working class and deprived estates. It is based on Tim Chester's sociological research and the hands-on experience of the Reaching the Unreached working group, which includes Chester and sixteen others. Chester includes their multiple voices, which gives a variety of perspectives, but without the book losing its one great mission imperative. As such, it is an important book because very little has been written on this topic since Roy Joslin's "Urban Harvest" in 1982 and because across the UK evangelicalism is so comparatively weak among the urban poor.

"Unreached" covers six major themes, one per chapter. The first two concern contextualisation and understanding working class culture. The third is on key gospel themes for working class and deprived areas. Personally I found this chapter refreshing. Who doesn't need daily reminding of the wonderful father-heart of God for his children, his sovereignty over all things including gut-wrenching disasters, and his amazing grace which brings peace and hope in the messiness of all our lives? The final three chapters give practical guidance as to how to do evangelism, discipleship, and teach the Bible in a non-book culture. The conclusion of the book was profoundly moving and it prompted me to pray for the contributors, many of whom have laboured long and hard without seeing much fruit, but all for the glory of Jesus.

Chester sees this book as a provocative conversation starter rather than the final word on growing churches among working class people. Hopefully this book will be more than that. Hopefully it will inspire many church leaders and Christians to reach the unreached estates across the UK where, for generations, people have gone to Hell unaware of the good news about Jesus.

This review was first published in February 2013's edition of Evangelicals Now
0Comment2 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 July 2013
I am the Chief Exec of a City Mission in the UK so this type of stuff has been my bread and butter for years. At last someone has written a coherent, and cohesive manual for City Missioners, Church Planters, those working in Fresh expressions and all those who care about the most un-reached people the urban poor. At first glance this book appears to be the case purely for the UK "CHAV" culture but these same principles apply within the Banlieue's of Paris and HLM estates in France. In fact I would say the principles apply to anywhere you find Urban Ghetto's of the poor.

I have recommend this book to many friends. My only area of disappointment is the writer is clearly coming from a conservative Evangelical perspective and I felt the book lacked a couple of chapters in terms of the supernatural and especially the dynamic of signs and wonders especially in confronting spiritual powers within these deeply occult communities.When I have lived in these areas the most common request I have received from people is to come and deliver homes from Evil Spirits.

My experience of over 15 years of working in these areas Is I realize that the powerless turn to the "powers" to lift them and consequently come under their domination and influence. However all that said, I would highly recommend this book and hope it's message goes beyond is potentially, a presently very narrow audience.
0Comment2 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 November 2012
Tim Chester and his group of collaborators are to be praised for the work they do in living incarnationally in some of the toughest neighbourhoods in Britain and in seeking to bring the Good News of Jesus to local residents and to plant culturally relevant churches among them. The book draws on this experience and is a clarion call to comfortable Christians to move out of their suburban ghettos and fulfill the Great Commission where making disciples is hardest. Chester argues rightly that contextualisation of the gospel offer is necessary in cross cultural mission and understands the value of informality, of story telling of food sharing.

The author and his colleagues are happy to be involved in compassionate social action and to some extent in community development but for them the priority, indeed the point is the proclamation of the gospel. So far so good.. evangelism and church planting is clearly his vocation.

It's not meant to be an academic book but one would have thought that there should be many more references to the urban mission literature of which there is a plethora available, both in the UK and globally. However the main source book cited is Roy Joslin's 1982 book "Urban Harvest" which, though useful, is hardly the last or only word on the topic. Apart from that there is one reference to an article by Jim Hart in the 2004 collection of short papers "Urban Church" (eds Latham & Eastman) and one to Tim Keller's church planting manual. The problem it seems to me with the book and the "Reaching the Unreached Network" is that they live in the ghetto of highly conservative reformed evangelical churches and that their thinking is largely "within the box". The gospel is already a given, and effectively that means patterns of discipleship, spirituality and church life are also tightly constrained, thus implicitly preventing the level and modes of contextualisation that may be appropriate, indeed that the Spirit may be working to produce.

There is certainly in Chester's thought litle room for the experimental or the emergent church, salvation is primarily from sin and eternal damnation, and there seems to be scant enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God breaking even partially into the present age. Indeed, if like me, you do not share Chester's high Calvinist theology you will probably be offended by his suggestion that our sovereign God has arranged the multiple deprivation of some of our sink estates as a means of opening the minds of some of the elect to the need for salvation. It is here that the closed system of Calvinistic logic seems to rotate around itself and eventually disappears down the plughole. There is arguably more Biblical foundation for an understanding that the worst of urban deprivation is the result of human sin, of greed and inequality, of prejudice and exclusion, of neglect and even oppression of the poor, and that it is a challenge for Christians and others of goodwill to struggle with the powers that be (on earth and in the heavenlies) to bring about both personal and social transformation.

All this said I still would encourage you to read and engage with this book. There is a great shortage of contemporary writing about efective evangelism in deprived urban areas. And an even greater shortage of urban missionaries, and indigenous working class Christians who are prayerfully and sacrifically committed to being there, and living and speaking the Good News of Jesus.. Despite his peculiar theology Tim Chester will have my blessing and prayers in the work he undertakes.
33 comments19 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 March 2013
I gave this book a five star rating as it is captivating reading and a good resource for me to us and to pass on to others. Recommended reading for anyone involved in working in these areas.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 October 2014
What a great book for anyone who was thinking about evangelism. Tim Chester and the group who wrote this certainly know what they are talking about. Highly recommended
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 July 2013
I found this an enjoyable and challenging read that made me think afresh about our church ministry to the surrounding area.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 March 2013
It was very interesting and relevant to what we are involved in with our church. I would recommend it warmly
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 December 2014
A must-read for anyone seeking to reach out into unchurched public housing communities.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 January 2013
This book provides a useful overview of the issues involved in outreach in urban and more deprived areas. Doesn't claim to have all the answers, but has a great deal if information to stimulate thinking about this subject. Recommended.
0Comment1 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 February 2015
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.