My Read of the Month:

Title: The Church in the Workplace: How God’s People Can Transform Society
Author: C. Peter Wagner
Published: 2006
Genre: Church leadership/ Discipleship
Ratings: 3.7 out of 5 stars

There’s no denying that there is a nationwide sweeping movement of the Holy Spirit raising up His people in the marketplace in advancing His kingdom in this 21st century.

In Singapore, it seems most of us in the Body are just beginning to acknowledge and understand what God is doing through this movement.

Because for the longest time, believers were mostly taught and encouraged to rise up in their churches and in the process gave lower priority to secular work over church work. This has eroded God’s influence in the marketplace.

In this book, Peter does an excellent job in addressing this self-imploding crisis. He presents the two forms of churches- the nuclear church and the extended church and their different characteristics with their rule books. This truly helps to understand both camps and how to marry the two forms in forging a formidable force in bring heaven on earth.

What I found particular insightful was Peter highlighting the lack of spiritual governance in the marketplace from Mondays to Saturdays or the 9 to 5 window. And unlike the marketplace or extended church, the (nuclear) church has established its spiritual governance. This can be observed by how people would ‘naturally’ behave to a set of ‘Christian’ conducts or culture in the church.

Therefore, it is for this reason that God is raising up marketplace apostles and pastors to lead and govern His sheep in the marketplace towards discipling a nation. But for this to truly take place, we need to understand that Christian ministry is not confined to the nuclear church. And our secular work is equally sacred and significant.

The only fault that a reader may find with Peter might be his take on the current state of the nuclear church which might come across as a tat harsh. However though his views on nuclear churches (in general) may be negative, but I find that he isn’t far off from his analysis.

So depending on how you look at it or receive it, this book is an awesome reference book for church growth. And for Christians in Singapore, we can be encouraged that he mentions Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) and City Harvest Church (CHC) as role model churches that have moved the Church into the marketplace.

Who should read it: All Christians, especially pastors and ministry leaders.

My Read of the Month:

Title: Changing Church: How God Is Leading His Church Into the Future
Author: C. Peter Wagner
Published: 2004
Genre: Church Growth/Spiritual Leadership
Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars

 

There’s no denying that God is doing a new thing in His Church in this 21st century. But what exactly is He doing? This is what this book attempts to uncover.

Peter Wagner, of whom I had the privileged to watch preached, does a fantastic job in succinctly presenting the changing trends of the Church. I really wish someone had recommended me this book earlier before.

According to Wagner, we are now in an era termed the Second Apostolic Age. This describes the age of the 21st century in which the Holy Spirit is strongly speaking to the churches of our generation to initiate a paradigm shift from being church-centred to being kingdom-centred.

In other words, the concept of the Kingdom of God has begun to expand significantly. And this has led to a radical shift in understanding  what being the Church means and as God destined.

For instance, he explains that “no longer is it adequate to suppose that our ultimate task here on Earth is the growth of the Church. Church growth remains crucial, but the Kingdom goes beyond that”.

In the old wineskin as he coins, the Church emphasizes on evangelism and church planting as activities central to the mission. But with the new wineskin, territorial domination with quantifiable terms is not the main goal. The goal then, is service to God which translates to nothing less than the transformation of society.

Another reason why this book is a pleasure to read in spite of it being written in a scholarly manner is because Wagner shares his personal experiences and opinions. This provides not only credibility but a good depth into this subject.

As mentioned, I wish I had read this book earlier with its insights that would have served me well to make sense of my past situation. Nonetheless, reading it now has affirmed and confirmed the revelations and deductions I received.

This is a must-read for every Christian as Wagner covers a number of compelling arguments such as the corporate spirit of religion and religious covenant. With better understanding where we are and where we’re heading, would serve us well to evaluate our values and priorities towards aligning with God and His Kingdom.

Who should read it: For Christians especially church leaders or pastors, that are hungry for God and His will for the Church.