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Customer Reviews for Tyndale House An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church

Tyndale House An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church

The gospel spreads and lives are changed when people just like you do God's work in the world! Dale's stories of drug addicts being led to Christ by friends, parents teaching the Bible to their kids, and couples inviting neighbors to dinner and spiritual discussion will ignite an "I can do that" spark in your heart.
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Customer Reviews for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Review 1 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:September 9, 2010
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Dawn P
I requested this book thinking that it was about how God uses ordinary people to plant churches. Unfortunately their definition of a church was not Biblically-based. This book actually gives a bunch of examples of people starting what should be called Bible studies.Dale talked about the "simple church" or "home church." No one is the primary teacher. There is not governmental structure. The Bible is clear that churches are to have pastors (i.e. elders) and deacons. Pastors are responsible as under-shepherds to care for the flock and the flock is responsible to obey those that have the rule over them (Heb. 13:17). Pastors have the responsibility to study the Word and feed the flock (I Peter 5:2). Dale however deemphasized the need for Biblical training or careful teaching of the Word. There were some good points in the book. Dale explained the need for more personal relationships within the church family as well as the need for more time and energy given to evangelism and discipleship. I would heartily agree. In conclusion, I have no problem with churches that meet in homes, however, what Dale described as a "simple church" lacks structure and key elements that the Bible emphasizes. (Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair critique).
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Review 2 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:July 7, 2010
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Jordan Wright
Theyre at it again! Somebody is planting a house churcheven in your own small town!When I read An Army of Ordinary People, I did not expect the author to be as blatantly opposed to the traditional church model as she turned out to be. Barna tried, and failed, to overcome my suspicions in the forward, but he did manage to make me believe that Dale wasnt against traditional church entirely.As it turned out, I think she is.Dale starts with several mistaken premises, each of which contributes to her mistaken book.1. She places greater importance on love (relationships) than on truth. The leads to her criticism of advanced theology: she claims that complexity drives away the unbeliever. This leads us to her second mistake:2. Dale claims, in more words, that Jesus created the organized church as a means for evangelism. Dale, however, is confusing organized church and the body of Christ. The organized church exists as a conduit for fellowship and edification: two things an unbeliever cannot share with us.3. Dale also seems to believe that each believer is called to be an evangelist. While I agree that every believer should take opportunities to share the Gospel, I do not agree on what the Gospel, and a calling, is. To Dale, the gospel is a message that Jesus saves, and a calling is a command. To me, the Gospel is living like Jesus, and a calling is a spiritual occupation: its how you use your gifts. If gifts differ, then so do callings. So, not everyone is called to be an evangelist.Dales movement will create a faith that is fifty miles wide, and about a centimeter deep. A shallow faith, that accepts all into the church as they are: saved, or otherwise. The Body is a Body of Believers. Not a body of seekers.I received this book for free from Tyndale in return for an honest review.
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Review 3 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:July 4, 2010
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A House Upon The Rock Reviews
This has been sitting on my book stand for way to long. It's been a slower read than most books I've read lately, but that is more because I am wrestling with the concepts.What I thought was going to just be a book of short stories of people who have impacted the world for Christ, turns out is much more than that. The author, Felicity Dale shares background and principles upon which the ideas are based to help the reader understand a concept of what is known as Simple Churches.While, most people who have been used to traditional, big building, "programed" services will find the concept a little hard to understand, there is a sense of freshness that one gets while reading this book.Our family does not attend what would be a traditional church to begin with. We do not have programs. Yet, I'm not sure that I agree with the entire concept that any time there are 2-3 believers gathered that is a church...only on the basis that Paul has set clear guidelines for church leadership, eldership in particular.But, the Church is more than buildings, seminary trained pastors and lots of programs to "reach" the masses. We are the church outside of Sunday mornings. The Church is the Bride of Christ...we are to live and be like Jesus everyday of our lives.I am still not sure what I think about this book, but I will say that I was moved by some of the stories shared and if more people acted like Jesus and reach out from across the threshold of their church building we could have a much bigger impact on the world. Maybe even see a revolution.Disclosure of Material Connection: Hate these, but apparently it needs to happen now...anyway, I received this book from Tyndale to review. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 4 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 3, 2010
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Karuna B
Its great to read amazing Bible stories from the Bible. The parting of the Red Sea, God coming down and transforming ordinary people's lives. Miracles in the desert. Reading of healing in the New Testament and everything God wanted us to know about Him and His immense love toward His creation.What makes this book a special read is that it brings Biblical stories to reality. Where God is applied to real life. Nothing is distant, far or ancient about the stories in "An Army of Ordinary People" by Felicity Dale, they're all contemporary. You could be a simple grocery store owner and then God comes into your life and your life begins to impact lives of people around you, just when you make contact with the living life of Jesus Christ Himself. We can picture that and soon you'll find yourself saying, "I can do that" or "This could be me!" This book can make you aware of God given potential in the life of a believer, who's just willing to follow God's directions no matter how mundane it sounds. Felicity carries us into a journey into the lives of these very ordinary people we meet day-to-day and perhaps would never imagine they could amount to anything, but they are being enabled by God as His agents to reach out to people right in their neighbourhood, some not even leaving the very compound and areas where they live. God is using them right where they are. Now I know, I can totally be a stay-at-home mom and still God can use me to impact people around me, right where I am.
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Review 5 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:May 26, 2010
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Michelle Smith
An Army of Ordinary People by Felicity Dale is subtitled "stories of real-life men and women simply being the church." This newest book exploring the church planting movement emphasizes exactly this: inspiring stories. Each chapter in this book uses stories which essentially encourage normal, every day believers to share the gospel message in personal ways in their everyday lives. Believers are encouraged to live out the gospel in such a way that they disciple new believers into "simple," "organic" churches.Through fellowship, hospitality and by simply accepting and loving people, the lost may be reached for Christ. Developing relationships is emphasized by Dale as the way to bring unreached people to faith, and keeping churches small through the development of house churches led by bivocational pastors rather than legacy churches led by full-time church ministry staff is subtly encouraged.Admittedly, the stories were inspiring, yet I was left with a few questions. As the wife of a former church planter, I wondered whether "simple, organic churches" were synonymous with "house churches" and distinct from or synonymous with the term "simple church" as used by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger. I wondered whether the development of the house church model is generally preferable within the United States, or whether God may simply be using it to reach an unreached segment of the population. Although each chapter begins with a short Scripture quote and concludes with a short 2-3 page theological foundation, overall I found this book inadequate for dealing with many of the deep issues confronting church planters and bivocational pastors.I received a complimentary copy of this book to review for Tyndale House publishers.
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Review 6 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 11, 2010
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Lisa H
An Army of Ordinary People is simply that, ordinary, everyday, untrained people making an extraordinary difference for the Kingdom of God. Felicity Dale shares stories of ordinary people she and husband Tony have encountered in their journey to build God's Kingdom through "house churches" or "simple churches". Using the New Testament principles as stated in Luke 10, she chronicles the lives of everyday individuals as they become the church and share the gospel with friends and neighbors where they are.This book has changed the way I think about 'church'. Using the Luke 10 model brings the church to the people, therefore reaching those who wouldn't normally darken the door of a church building and enabling them to then reach friends and family members within there own sphere of influence in a homey natural environment. The examples prove you don't have to be a Bible scholar to reach and teach others just be willing to be used, and always be on the lookout for that "person of peace". This type of church is a perfect example of "where two or more are gathered in my name". This book should be a must read for anyone wanting to reach those around them and see His kingdom advanced.To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC
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Review 7 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 10, 2010
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Shelley
In this revised and updated version of An Army of Ordinary People, Felicity Dale provides an anthology of stories detailing the lives of average people who adopt the "simple" church model, open their homes for ministry, and witness changes in their communities. Dale documents powerful stories of real people who lead others into relationship with God outside of the "traditional" church setting. I appreciate the way that Dale expands common notions of ministry, arguing that ministry is the job of laypeople even as they go about the routine of normal life. Our relationship with God should not be confined to a designated schedule of church attendance but instead should impact the relationships we develop with those in our sphere of influence.I also appreciated how Dale addresses some of the unique challenges of the "house" church paradigm. Although Dale's intent in this book is to encourage the growth of "simple" or "house" churches, she does so without disparaging the "legacy" church model. I'm not ready to abandon the traditional church format, but many of the strategies Dale espouses in this book could be modified to fit within a "legacy" church context, giving her message a broad appeal. Tyndale House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.
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Review 8 for An Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:May 7, 2010
I received a complimentary copy of An Army of Ordinary People to review from Tyndale House Publishers. This book has two parts: stories of real-life men and women being the church (as the subtitle suggests), and attempts to explain biblically that small house gatherings are what Jesus was referring to when the word church is used in the Bible. I really enjoyed the stories and just as the author hopes in her introduction, they did make me think I can do that! The theology, however, is really weak. She repeatedly uses the words probably, obviously, and clearly to explain scripture using her own common sense. For instance, she says that when Jesus says to take the sin of your brother before the church (Matt 18:17), it simply has to be referring to a small group because as she reasons, it would be inappropriate in a large church because the person would leave the church. Were talking about a non-repentant sinner, right? I found her feeble attempts at biblical interpretation pretty off-putting. 2000 years later, in a very different culture, we cant just rely on what makes sense to us to understand scripture. While this book does a great job of encouraging evangelism by making it unintimidating, it does a poor job of trying to explain church biblically.
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