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Growth

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  1. 8.2 hrs • 2/29/2016 • Unabridged

    Fast food. Fast cars. Fast and furious. Fast forward. Fast … church? The church is often idealized (or demonized) as the last bastion of a bygone era, dragging our feet as we’re pulled into new moralities and new spiritualities. We guard our doctrine and our piety with great vigilance. But we often fail to notice how quickly we’re capitulating, in the structures and practices of our churches, to a culture of unreflective speed, dehumanizing efficiency, and dis-integrating isolationism. In the beginning, the church ate together, traveled together and shared in all facets of life. Centered as they were on Jesus, these seemingly mundane activities took on their own significance in the mission of God. In Slow Church, Chris Smith and John Pattison invite us to leave franchise faith behind and enter into the ecology, economy, and ethics of the kingdom of God, where people know each other well and love one another as Christ loved the church.

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    Slow Church

    8.2 hrs • 2/29/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.5 hrs • 10/1/2015 • Unabridged

    This book presents the case for loving the local church. It paints a picture of the local church in all its biblical and real life guts, gaffes, and glory in an effort to edify local congregations and entice the disaffected back to the fold. It also provides a solid biblical mandate to love and be part of the body of Christ and counteract the “leave church” books that trumpet rebellion and individual felt needs.Why We Love the Church is written for four kinds of people—the committed, the disgruntled, the waffling, and the disconnected.

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    Why We Love the Church

    6.5 hrs • 10/1/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.7 hrs • 7/28/2015 • Unabridged

    People are leaving the church J. D. Greear pastors. Big givers. Key volunteers. Some of his best leaders and friends. And that’s exactly how he wants it to be. When Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, he revealed that the key for reaching the world with the gospel is found in sending, not gathering. Though many churches focus time and energy on attracting people and counting numbers, the real mission of the church isn’t how many people you can gather. It’s about training up disciples and then sending them out. The true measure of success for a church should be its sending capacity, not its seating capacity. But there is a cost to this. To see ministry multiply, we must release the seeds God has placed in our hands. And to do that, we must ask ourselves whether we are concerned more with building our kingdom or God’s. In Gaining By Losing, J. D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church’s priorities around God’s mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don’t need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches can, and must, do both.

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    Gaining by Losing

    Foreword by Larry Osborne
    8.7 hrs • 7/28/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.0 hrs • 2/3/2015 • Unabridged

    Join Dr. Timothy Keller as he opens up the second half of the book of Romans, beginning in chapter 8, helping you to get to grips with its meaning and showing how it transforms our hearts and lives today. Combining a close attention to the detail of the text with Timothy Keller’s trademark gift for clear explanation and compelling insights, this resource will both engage your mind and stir your heart. Written for people of every age and stage, from new believers to pastors and teachers, this flexible resource is will help you appreciate the great gift of righteousness with God, grow in Christ as you read and meditate on this portion of God’s word, and illustrate and apply Romans as you preach or lead a Bible study. Romans 8–16 for You is designed to work alongside In View of God’s Mercy, Timothy Keller’s Bible-study resource for small groups and individuals. 

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  5. 3.8 hrs • 10/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Churchless people are all around us: among our closest loved ones, at our workplaces, in our neighborhoods. And more and more, they are becoming the norm—the number of churchless adults in the United States has grown by nearly one-third in the past decade. Yet the startling truth is that many of these people claim they are looking for a genuine, powerful encounter with God—but they just don’t find it in church. What are they (or we) missing? How can we better reach out to them? What can we say or do that would inspire them to want to join a community of faith? Containing groundbreaking new research from the Barna Group, and edited by bestselling authors George Barna and David Kinnaman, Churchless reveals the results of a five-year study based on interviews with thousands of churchless men and women. Looking past the surface of church attendance to deeper spiritual realities, Churchless will help us understand those who choose not to be part of a church, build trust-based relationships with them, and be empowered to successfully invite them to engage.

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    Churchless

    3.8 hrs • 10/1/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 4.1 hrs • 9/12/2014 • Unabridged

    The most urgent call upon God’s people is to live as followers of Jesus. The most indicting critique against the church is as simple: its failure to do so. As the leader of an evangelical theological seminary that trains men and women as leaders for the church and society, Mark Labberton writes: People ask many questions about how their lives relate to the world. What are our lives in this world about? What are we to make of being human? Why are we here? Is there a reason we are alive, and, if so, how would we know what that is? These questions are brought on at times by beauty and joy, but also by the daunting facts of our own lives or of the world around us. We look around in doubt, in pain, in suffering. These are human questions asked throughout history by those inside and outside the church. We long to renew our hope for a world broken and hurting. And it is we, God’s people living in the power of the Holy Spirit, who are called to become this hope. Here is the crisis: we are made and redeemed for this calling, but it slides through our fingers. Here is the promise: living and practicing who and why we are is our Christian vocation whenever and wherever we may be. Will you answer the call?

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    Called

    4.1 hrs • 9/12/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.1 hrs • 8/12/2014 • Unabridged

    It’s the end of Christianity as we know it. But it’s not a catastrophe—it’s an opportunity. Thousands are walking away from the church. Christians are grappling with their faith. And both believers and nonbelievers wondering: what’s coming next? Fearless and provocative, spiritual trailblazer Christian Piatt offers a road map to the future of faith with an unflinching examination of the church today. What’s left? Pairing the best “virtues” and worst “scandals” of Christianity, Piatt invites us to abandon institutional religion for deeper, truer faith. Can we fix it? Guided by the biggest historical, religious, and pop-cultural pioneers of the post-Christian era, he demonstrates how to save the best of what Christianity has to offer—and how to rediscover and reinvent the rest. Do we care? There’s plenty of good left in Christianity—if we dare to be as scandalously graceful and loving as Jesus himself. Bold and insightful, postChristian dares Christians to break out of the box and invites outsiders into the fold as we revolutionize faith for a postmodern world.

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    PostChristian

    6.1 hrs • 8/12/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 10.9 hrs • 6/10/2014 • Unabridged

    From critically acclaimed author Brian McLaren comes a brilliant retelling of the biblical story and a thrilling reintroduction to Christian faith. This book offers everything you need to explore what a difference an honest, living, growing faith can make in our world today. It also puts tools in your hands to create a life-changing learning community in any home, restaurant, or other welcoming space. The fifty-two (plus a few) weekly readings offer a simple curriculum of insightful reflections and transformative practices. Organized around the traditional church year, these readings give an overview of the whole Bible and guide an individual or a group of friends through a year of rich study, interactive learning, and personal growth. Perfect for home churches, congregations, classes, or individual study, each reading invites you to: Cultivate an honest, intelligent understanding of the Bible and of Christian faith in twenty-first century Engage with discussion questions designed to challenge, stimulate, and encourage Re-imagine what it means to live joyfully and responsibly in today’s world as agents of God’s justice, creativity, and peace If you’re seeking a fresh way to experience and practice your faith, if you’re a long-term Christian seeking new vitality, or if you feel out of place in traditional church circles, this book will inspire and activate you in your spiritual journey.

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    We Make the Road by Walking

    10.9 hrs • 6/10/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 6.1 hrs • 4/1/2013 • Unabridged

    A radical call to reform, Church Zero is a punk-rock approach to the pressing issue of gaining ground as rapidly as the early church. With a fresh perspective forged in the dirty trenches of international post-Christian societies, Peyton Jones pulls no punches as he brings this message to the American church: We have lost our way. The American church is losing ground fast: losing the generation under age 30 and drawing few nonbelievers toward Christ. Christ gave us a leadership model for commando outreach, and we have ignored it for too long. Will we continue down the path of self-preservation, defending our stalled church structures? Or will we follow the blueprint Jesus lays out before us?  Church Zero challenges readers to once again become outspoken and radical—someone who cannot be ignored. It’s time to break out!

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    Church Zero

    6.1 hrs • 4/1/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 9.1 hrs • 3/1/2013 • Unabridged

    The Catholic Church is on the threshold of a bold new era in its two-thousand–year history. As the curtain comes down on the church defined by the sixteenth-century Counter-Reformation, the curtain is rising on the Evangelical Catholicism of the third millennium: a way of being Catholic that comes from over a century of Catholic reform; a mission-centered renewal honed by the Second Vatican Council and given compelling expression by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The gospel-centered Evangelical Catholicism of the future will send all the people of the church into mission territory every day—a territory increasingly defined in the West by spiritual boredom and aggressive secularism. Confronting both these cultural challenges and the shadows cast by recent Catholic history, Evangelical Catholicism unapologetically proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ as the truth of the world. It also molds disciples who witness to faith, hope, and love by the quality of their lives and the nobility of their aspirations. Thus the Catholicism of the twenty-first century and beyond will be a culture-forming counterculture, offering all men and women of good will a deeply humane alternative to the soul-stifling self-absorption of postmodernity. Drawing on thirty years of experience throughout the Catholic world, from its humblest parishes to its highest levels of authority, George Weigel proposes a deepening of faith-based and mission-driven Catholic reform that touches every facet of Catholic life—from the episcopate and the papacy to the priesthood and the consecrated life; from the renewal of the lay vocation in the world to the redefinition of the church’s engagement with public life; from the liturgy to the church’s intellectual life. Lay Catholics and clergy alike should welcome the challenge of this unique moment in the church’s history. Mediocrity is not an option, and all Catholics, no matter what their station in life, are called to live the evangelical vocation into which they were baptized: without compromise but with the joy, courage, and confidence that comes from living this side of the Resurrection.

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    Evangelical Catholicism by George Weigel

    Evangelical Catholicism

    9.1 hrs • 3/1/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 6.5 hrs • 8/21/2012 • Unabridged

    In The Blessed Church: The Simple Secret to Growing the Church You Love, Pastor Robert Morris unfolds why Gateway Church in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth is one of America’s fastest-growing, spiritually enriching local churches, and still one of its healthiest. Written for both church leaders and lay people, The Blessed Church looks at the qualities that make church work in the twenty-first century, and how these qualities can enrich your church no matter its size or vision. With the humor and powerful stories for which he is well known, Morris shows how every component of your church—including mission, church government, teaching, worship, small groups, giving, and outreach—can receive God’s richest blessings. Rather than bemoaning the problems of the contemporary evangelical church, The Blessed Church celebrates the expanding role of the body of Christ in the lives of individuals starting right where you and your church are today.

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    The Blessed Church

    6.5 hrs • 8/21/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 7.4 hrs • 4/23/2012 • Unabridged

    Planting and leading a new church is not easy. There are the inevtiable setbacks and challenges that come with launching anything new. And the process will test and try a leader]s faith, as they face discouragement, loneliness, and failure. In this book, pastor and seasoned church leader Wayne Cordeiro speaks the truth in love, offering wisdom and insight to prepare leaders as they face the difficulties and hardships of church planting, while providing encouragement and inspiration for the journey.  Sifted is based on Jesus] encouragement to Peter in Luke 22 to keep his faith and minister to others from his weakness. An experienced practitioner, Wayne shares the things he wishes he]d known when he was starting a new church. With additional stories from other prominent, seasoned leaders, each chapter includes a thought provoking, challenge question to develop a heart that is surrendered to God, focused on “being and becoming” versus “doing and accomplishing.” Wayne writes about a healthy integration and balance of personal care and leadership amidst the difficulties of the church planting journey.  Loneliness and discouragement are normal in church planting, but God cares more about our journey of faith and who we are becoming than our worldly accomplishments and the churches we build. Church planting is an ongoing process of surrender, personal growth and character development.  The book will challenge leaders to persevere and rededicate themselves to their calling, their marriage, and their family. Instead of a how-to book on models and methods, this is a combination of a self-assessment book that challenges leaders’ scorecards of success, encourages leaders to realize that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, and provides wisdom for the long haul to position younger leaders for a life of ministry and finish strong.

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    Sifted

    7.4 hrs • 4/23/12 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.2 hrs • 12/6/2011 • Unabridged

    Discover a proven approach to raising your church’s evangelistic temperature evangelism. It’s one of the highest values in the church. So why do so few churches put real time, money, and effort into it? Maybe it’s because we don’t understand the evangelistic potential of the church well enough to get excited about it. Building a Contagious Church will change that. This provocative book dispels outdated preconceptions and reveals evangelism as it really can be, radiant with the color and potential of the body of Christ and pulsing with the power of God. What's more, it walks you through a six-stage process for taking your church beyond mere talk to infectious energy, action, and lasting commitment. Think it can’t happen? Get ready for the surprise of your life! You and your church are about to become contagious! Most church leaders would agree there’s nothing more important than evangelism—after all, eternities hang in the balance! Yet 86 percent of pastors admit that their church falls far short when it comes to actually doing something about it. Perhaps your church is like that, but you’re unsure of what to do. That’s about to change. If you long to infect your church with great commission fever, then challenge every member of your leadership team to read this book! Building a Contagious Church will help you customize an evangelistic strategy that really works—not just for a while, but for the long haul. Developed by one of today’s foremost leaders, educators, and practitioners of evangelism—the principal author of the highly effective Becoming a Contagious Christian curriculum—this book’s revolutionary insights have proved themselves time and again in all kinds of settings. So dare to get excited! This dynamic, highly adaptable approach is created to work not for some other church, but for your church. If you’re ready for your leaders, members, and ministries to become fervent about reaching lost people for Christ and effective at doing so, Mark Mittelberg describes in detail how you can tailor make: –A contagious plan—Define the what, why, and how of your church’s outreach to people in the neighborhoods all around you.  –A Contagious Change Process—Follow a six-stage process that will help you raise the evangelistic temperature of your church, starting with the hearts of the leaders –Contagious Diversity—Learn to maximize outreach to all kinds of non-Christians by developing ministries and events around the six different evangelism styles.  –Contagious Ministry—Find out how to unleash the kind of genuine, empowered ministry in your church that will impact your community—and your world. “It doesn’t matter whether your church is large or small, old or new, urban or suburban, upscale or downscale, high church or low church,” says Mittelberg. “Regardless of where you’re starting from, I’m confident that in the power of the Holy Spirit, you can take significant steps toward making your ministry more outwardly focused and evangelistically fruitful.” Get ready for a revolution in how your people view and do evangelism. And prepare for the joyous adventure of aligning yourselves with God’s agenda of reaching and transforming human hearts.

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    Becoming a Contagious Church

    8.2 hrs • 12/6/11 • Unabridged
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  14. 6.2 hrs • 11/1/2011 • Unabridged

    People are hungry to make a difference in their community, yet most don’t know where to start. In fact, “serving the least” is often one of the most neglected biblical mandates in the church. Barefoot Church shows readers how today’s church can be a catalyst for individual, collective, and social renewal in any context. Whether pastors or laypeople, readers will discover practical ideas that end up being as much about the Gospel and personal transformation as they are about serving the poor. Here they will see how the organizational structure of the church can be created or redesigned for mission in any context. Drawing from his own journey, Brandon Hatmaker proves to readers that serving the least is not a trendy act of benevolence but a lifestyle of authentic community and spiritual transformation. As Hatmaker writes, “My hope is that God would open our eyes more and more to the needs of our community. And that we would see it as the church’s responsibility to lead the charge.”

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    Barefoot Church

    Foreword by Ed Stetzer
    Read by Adam Black
    6.2 hrs • 11/1/11 • Unabridged
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  15. 10.9 hrs • 5/3/2011 • Unabridged

    The church is on the verge of some tremendous changes. Contemporary church growth, despite its many blessings to believers, has failed to stem the decline of Christianity in the West. These times require a different kind of church—a church where every person is living a mission-sent life. The Bible uses the word apostles for Jesus' followers—that is, people sent on Jesus’ behalf. In every existing form of the contemporary church—from the mega to the multi to the incarnational—some churches have taken the idea of apostolic mission seriously. Successful church leaders are discovering how to shift their existing resources and church structures into more adaptable forms to reach their communities. In this book, Alan Hirsch and David Ferguson share inspiring stories about leaders who have diagnosed their churches’ failure to embrace a biblical model of mission and have moved toward a fuller expression of the gospel. On the Verge will help pastors and church leaders discover how these forerunners and their insights are launching a new apostolic movement—and how any church can get involved.

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    On the Verge

    10.9 hrs • 5/3/11 • Unabridged
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  16. 5.9 hrs • 4/19/2011 • Unabridged

    Within ten years, nine out of ten people will claim “no religious affiliation.” Many of these people will live in urban areas. Church leaders must learn how to effectively engage in ministry with this urban core, a group that includes both the poor and marginalized as well as the wealthy and influential. This book will guide you in developing a philosophy of ministry that can lead to restoration and renewal in your city. Matt Carter and Darrin Patrick explain the biblical, theological, and historical foundations of ministry within the urban core, and how to plant churches where the gospel is not only faithfully preached and shared but also brings substantial benefits to those living in the community. For the City relates the wisdom gleaned from years of serving their cities for the sake of God’s kingdom. Carter and Patrick practically equip church leaders and Christians to look at their city as a mission field where individuals and churches can faithfully proclaim the gospel and live out the reality of a community changed and transformed by its message.

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    For the City

    By Matt Carter and Darrin Patrick, with Joel A Lindsey
    Read by Jay Charles
    5.9 hrs • 4/19/11 • Unabridged
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