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Unreached Paperback – 19 Oct 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: ivp; First edition (19 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844746038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844746033
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.4 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Tim Chester has done the church in the UK a great service. This is thoughtful analysis at its best, supplemented by some excellent practical suggestions and ideas for reaching a part of British community that is seriously underrepresented in the life of the national church. Tim's passion is to make sure that the under-represented are not the unreached --Stephen Gaukroger, Director of Clarion Trust International and former President of the Baptist Union

This book is the fruit of passionate engagement of local churches with struggling neighbourhoods across the UK. It offers flashes of penetrating insight and perception into the challenges and opportunities of ministry in our more deprived areas. --Frog Orr-Ewing, Rector of Latimer Minster and Chaplain and Missioner to the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics

Tim Chester has worked hard to show how the raw, uncut gospel must be applied in the 'unreached' people groups of once Christian nations. He writes from both ministry experience and a passion for the gospel. He is also wised-up about the missional challenges before us, bringing valuable practical insight and needed advice for the reader --Joel Virgo, Church Elder, Church of Christ the King, Brighton

About the Author

Tim Chester is a writer, Bible teacher and church planter. He is married to Helen and has two daughters.

He is pastor of 'The Crowded House' Sheffield and a leader of 'The Crowded House' church planting network.


Customer Reviews

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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".
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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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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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.
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