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Church Zero: Raising 1st Century Churches out of the Ashes of the 21st Century Church [Kindle Edition]

Peyton Jones
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 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 the church has 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?
Church Zero challenges readers to once again become a radical, dangerous people who cannot be ignored. It’s time to break out!

Editorial Reviews


"Church planting in the way of the apostles ... that's what Peyton is trying to recover. A good contribution in a critical time."
—Alan Hirsch, author of The Permanent Revolution

From the Back Cover

It’s Time to punch delete and Hit ‘Reset.’
What happened to the Western Church? When did we stop being radical, dangerous, and impossible to ignore? Why are we losing the generation under 30 and reaching so few nonbelievers?
In Church Zero, Peyton Jones says one of our big problems is this: we squeeze our leaders into a mold that cuts their hair and drains away their commando strength.
Scripture lays out a leadership model that worked explosively in the first century—but frankly, we’re scared of it. We don’t have to be. When properly understood, Christ’s model can help your church live the way the body was meant to live, truly making a difference in your community.   Church Zero gives the blueprints for how the Western Church might start rebuilding from the ground up if a pipe bomb were placed underneath all of our church structures overnight. What would tomorrow look like if we had to restart from a biblical ground zero? 
Church Zero will help us once again become a radical, dangerous people who cannot be ignored. It’s time to break out of the matrix.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1816 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (April 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Church for the 21st Century April 2, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Here's one I almost missed - and I would have missed out big time! The cover looks emergent - not interested. The promo line reads something like this: "a punk-rock approach to the pressing issue of gaining ground as rapidly as the early church" - not interested. However, a quick scan in the acknowledgments caught my attention. One of the author's heroes is Martyn-Lloyd Jones. Now I'm interested. Then I learn that the author is a church planter in the U.K. Now I'm really interested. With family roots in the U.K. and a deep admiration for men like John Bunyan, John Owen, and C.H. Spurgeon, my heart has been saddened for many years to see the decline of the church in the land of my forefathers. Anyone who has a passion to reach these people for Christ has my attention!

Church Zero: Raising 1st Century Churches Out of the Ashes of the 21st Century Church by Peyton Jones is a warning to the church; it is a warning to stop playing church. Much like a fired-up football coach on the sidelines, Jones tosses the challenge flag and alerts the church to some dangers he sees; dangers that have plagued the church for quite some time. One danger is the propensity for pastors to build their own "personal empires." Scripture demands something altogether different, namely - the expansion of God's kingdom. The author confronts the typical model found in many mega church structures (and I would argue that this same mentality is smoldering in the hearts of many smaller churches as well):

1. Get more people

2. More people = more money

3. More money = more toys

4. More toys - more ways to get people

5. Get more people (rinse and repeat)

Some churches clean up this formula by exchanging "toys" for "tools.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering team leadership for churches March 23, 2013
The secular ethos and post-Christian mindset have been swallowing churches alive in the UK like the mighty Sarlacc pit's digestive juices slowly eroding Boba Fett's Mandalorian body armor, according to Peyton Jones in this book. Churches in the US have started disappearing the same way, and the process will continue unless we can relearn ministry from the foundations up.

The book goes on to discuss the importance of apostles in the early church, and in particular the concept of team ministry with reference to Ephesians 4:11-13 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers). The author refers to this as FIST leadership, because a fist is made up of five co-operating fingers. As a result of restricting church leadership to the pastor-only model, we have limited functionality and our mission has been compromised.

As the author acknowledges, there is something uncomfortable about having designated "apostles" and "prophets" as part of the church leadership team. Those who proclaim themselves to be "apostles" typically lack the humility expected of a Christian leader, and the most outspoken "prophets" are often those who predict the end of the world and then keep changing the date. Nonetheless, the book makes a convincing argument for team leadership in churches.

The book is replete with references to He-Man, She-Ra, Indiana Jones, Disneyland, the A-Team, Voltron, and a range of other cultural references that suggest the author may have spent too much time watching television in the 1980s. There are also several fascinating insights gleaned from the author's time spent planting churches in Wales. If you are a current or future church leader wanting to know how you can become more effective, this book is well worth a read.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Church Growth Model for Smelly Kids April 1, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For years I have been frustrated, because I have been the smelly kid in class, and no other kids want to play with me. But I didn't realize I was the smelly kid until I read this book.

Before God formed me in the womb, He had ordained me for a specific role in the church that He clearly laid out in the New Testament. There is no place in today's church for the role God made me for (and for several others), because the traditionalism of the church has blinded it to roles God clearly used to plant churches in Acts.

These absence of these roles in today's ministry model blinded me to how God wanted to use me. Trying fill the New Testament role that God designed me for in today's church ministry model is like being a round peg who is trying to fit into a square hole.

Through Peyton Jones, the Holy Spirit lays out the forgotten ministry model He used to plant churches for the first 300 years of church life. It's a model that we need to seriously look at, if we want to plant churches in the leading and power of the Holy Spirit.

Today there are countless church growth models and programs and plans out there. Most of them are dependant on the schemes and strategies of men. While many of them will lead to a much larger congregation, they will typically lead to fewer disciples. There are however, in the Bible itself, a few models and practices which are Spirit led and will lead to church growth that is dependant on the work of the Holy Spirit and based on Jesus command to make disciples.

Peyton Jones has nailed something from the New Testament that is one of those church growth plans that is completely dependant on the work of the Holy Spirit. While this is not the end all book that will tell you everything you need to know about church growth, it absolutely lays essential, fundamental groundwork that is completely scriptural.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars When I look back on my life, opening this book will probably be one of...
I don't even know where to start other than to say this: If the type of prayer and dedication Peyton Jones describes in Church Zero allows him to be used by the Holy Spirit to... Read more
Published 55 minutes ago by Jeremy McNabb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book! Worth buying!
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
If you've ever thought that 'something isn't quite right' about church when compared to the book of Acts, you're right. Read more
Published 2 months ago by hbwaterman
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S MORPHIN' TIME!
If by voltron you really ment Power Rangers then I get you! It always seemed strange to me that the great biblical teachers I've read never seemed to really reflect the power I... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ruben young
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 3 months ago by Larry Starkey
3.0 out of 5 stars The first couple of chapters are great, but it does tend to become a...
The first couple of chapters are great, but it does tend to become a bit redundant. Peyton has a great handle on the "Movie Culture," However he will miss a lot of readers... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mark S
5.0 out of 5 stars Blow it up!
Fantastic approach to church planting that was resonating over and over. This is a wake-up call for the American church and for me to be what God has made us to be - The Church. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kevin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Info for today's church leaders
It doesn't take great powers of observation to see that members are walking away from the church by the droves. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Caution: this will re-tool your ministry
This is a great read. Peyton does a great job of bringing the concept of apostle biblically into the day and gas in which we live. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mark Ziegler
5.0 out of 5 stars church as it should be
This book is a call to evaluate how we lead, shape and be the Church in our postmodern context. A very good read!
Published 8 months ago by Yerba mate
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More About the Author

Peyton Jones is a serial church planter. Meaning that if he plants a church, he'll probably strike again, and leave a trail of church plants in his wake.

Peyton went into ministry at 19 years old in Huntington Beach, CA and started traveling the world for ministry. He ended up as the Evangelist at Dr. D. M. Lloyd-Jones's legendary "Sandfields" church in Wales, UK, and started planting shortly thereafter.

Peyton received his MA Theology: Pastoral Studies in 2010 from W.E.S.T. in the UK and teaches Church Planting courses online. He is currently planting in inner city Long Beach. Peyton is the Managing Editor of Church Planter Magazine and the co-host of the weekly Church Planter Podcast. He lives in Southern California with his family.

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