* A radical call for reform from an evangelist with an attitude! Jones's punk-rock approach---and heart for evangelism---were forged in the trenches of international post-Christian societies. Now he pulls no punches as he warns the American church "We have lost our way," and offers a leadership model for "commando outreach" targeting the under-30 generation. 256 pages, softcover from Cook.
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Customer Reviews for Church Zero: Raising 1st-Century Churches out of the Ashes of the 21st-Century Church
Review 1 for Church Zero: Raising 1st-Century Churches out of the Ashes of the 21st-Century Church
For Church Planters and Church Leaders
Date:April 14, 2013
In Church Zero, Peyton Jones explores the world of church planting from a biblical perspective. The first few chapters are spent digging into the understanding of the word "apostle" in the 1st century. Jones distinguishes between the big-A "Apostles" and lowercase-a "apostles", explaining that Apostles were the men who were personally discipled by Jesus while "apostles" are the God-given role of church planters in the church. Several chapters are designated to defining the roles of pastors, prophets, apostles, teachers, and evangelists, which are often referred to as the five-fold ministry but Jones calls FIST leaders (think of a hand with five fingers, which when all connected makes a powerful fist). Jones spends his final chapters advocating for the importance of the church, the way it needs to be active in our world, and how we can be a part of making the church fulfill its purpose in this world.
From the onset of this book, I had never thought of the apostles as church planters before. But now as we're see a large church planting movement arising in America, connecting this role to the early church makes a lot of sense and is really fitting. Jones does well in his exegesis of Scripture while keeping it connected to theology and practical ministry. I extremely appreciate Jones' positive view of the church. As a staff pastor leading several ministries, this book was encouraging to my heart and gave me some creative ideas for helping to make my church and ministries healthy by helping to get people plugged into the right places. I especially appreciated Jones' chapter on gifts-based ministry.
The only disappointment I have with Jones' writings is that every reference he had to FIST leaders was masculine. Even though he mentioned Huldah and Deborah as prophets, he never considered in any other portion that women could still be prophets--or any other type of FIST leader--today. There was one reference to Priscilla working alongside her husband to teach women, but that was it. Also, as a Pentecostal, Jones seemed to portray a somewhat negative view of the pentecostal/charismatic tradition and practices. This was not blatant or alarming, but enough to make me stop and have to say "mmm...bummer." Jones seems to come from a reformed tradition, though he does well with branching out and discussing historic figures from other traditions as well, such as John Wesley.
Overall, I thank Peyton Jones for writing this book. It affirmed that I am not called to be a church planter--ha!--but gave me a better understanding for those who are called to it, as well as affirming some of the gifts that God has placed in me as a FIST leader. I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from David C. Cook through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.