The church we see today is nothing like that described in Acts. Jesus said the gates of hades would not prevail against the church but that is certainly not what we are seeing today. Why and how can that change?
Silvoso looked at Scripture and the contemporary church to rediscover the church as Jesus designed it to be. He shares what he has learned about the church as well as a strategy to develop it. He notes that the characteristics of the early church included people devoted to their leaders' teaching, provisions for needs, constant growth, and signs and wonders in the public square.
Silvoso offers many challenging thoughts, such as how church planting happened, how leaders were developed, the vital role of meals, marketplace ministry, the true meaning of ekklesia, baptizing a nation (including Spirit led social action), and much more.
I think the greatest impact of this book is that ministry takes place in the marketplace. Believers are trained to do ministry day in and day out. It is not church staff but believers who advance the kingdom of God. The average believers were the ones who influenced society in the early church. Silvoso gives many encouraging examples from his own ministry and that of others how believers are transforming agents. He also gives practical ideas on being such a change agent.
This book is certainly a welcome challenge to spiritual leaders and lay people. I recommend it to those who want to know how Jesus meant believers to live and minister today. Yes, the strategy includes being immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Silvoso provides a good study of the idea. Perhaps it is time to put away anti-charismatic thinking and really get serious about how the church can be a transforming agent today. This book will inspire you and give practical help to get you on your way, whether you are a pastor or a lay person.
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 4/5.
Ed Silvoso is the founder and president of Harvest Evangelism, Inc., and also of the Transform Our World Network, which is composed of thousands of pulpit and marketplace influencers across the globe. He is widely recognized as a visionary strategist and solid Bible teacher who specializes in nation and marketplace transformation. He has been trained in theology and business. He has written several bestselling books on the topic of transformation. He and his wife have four married daughters and twelve grandchildren. You can find out more at www.transformourworld.org or www.edsilvoso.com.
Chosen Books, 272 pages.
received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.