Church

Belcher, Jim Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2009

Passionately, articulately and with sometimes winsome self-confidence, Belcher seeks to chart a third way between the often divided factions within the traditional and emerging wings of American evangelicalism. The author, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, Calif., asserts that it is possible to forge a new ecumenism and unity based in creedal orthodoxy, while also respecting the particularities of denominations and faith communities.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich Life Together New York: Harper, 1954
This is the classic work on living with others in the context of Christian community. As such, it has quickly become the visionary text for what it means to be a true fellowship of believers.

Colson, Charles and Ellen Vaughn Being the Body: A New Call for the Church to be Light in the Darkness Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2003
Formerly released as The Body, this remains one of the best books on the vision and role of the church in Evangelical Christianity, making up for the gross inattention paid to it by leading theologians and parachurch leaders. Beyond a call to the church, it rings out as a call to be the church.

Giles, Kevin What on Earth is the Church? An Exploration in New Testament Theology Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1995
One of the few serious, and systematic, treatments of the church in recent years. While Giles may make conclusions that go against various denominational distinctives, his work is thorough and engaging. Though academic and lengthy, it will leave you breathless with the critical importance and primacy of the church.

Hybels, Bill Courageous Leadership Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002
This is Bill’s manifesto, his grand opus. There is no one who speaks to church leadership with more giftedness, skill, ability, insight and raw anointing than Bill Hybels.

Hybels, Lynne and Bill Rediscovering Church Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997

Bill Hybels is pastor of the fastest-growing church in the U.S. during the past 20 years, an institution attended by some 15,000 each Sunday. In this two-part book, his wife, Lynne, first tells his and the church's story, and then he explains the vision of Christian community, the principles of leadership, and the strategy for gathering followers that have made Willow Creek Community Church thrive.

Kimball, Dan The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003
This is a refreshing, cutting-edge work on the ever-changing dynamics of positioning the church’s preaching, leadership, evangelism, and spiritual formation for maximum cultural penetration and impact.

Warren, Rick The Purpose Driven Church Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995
This is the single-best book on “doing” church effectively.

White, James Emery Rethinking the Church Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997/2003

Where Rick Warren and others detail how to do things, Rethinking the Church goes back a step and explores “why,” which is one of the reasons it has been used so extensively by those wanting to “get it,” or to help others “get it.”

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