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The Church of Irresistible Influence: Bridge-Building Stories to Help Reach Your Community Paperback – October 27, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Edition Unstated edition (October 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310250153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310250159
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A city set on a hill, inescapably visible. A lit lamp brilliantly illuminating the darkest room.

With compelling metaphors, Jesus described the church and its impact on the world. And indeed, filled with the Holy Spirit, the early church demonstrated a spiritual energy and depth that transformed the surrounding culture. Don’t let your church settle for less! Using bridges as a metaphor for "irresistible influence"--or i2, as he calls it--Robert Lewis shows how your church can become a strong, well-traveled link between heaven and earth in your community.

In this engaging and uplifting book, Lewis tells the stories and shares the experiences and lessons of Fellowship Bible Church to show

* what it will take to reconnect your church with your community * the how-to’s of "incarnational bridge building" * true stories of i2 in action * how to expand the i2 effort through new partnerships and adventures * requirements of the church in the 21st century

Discover how the power of incarnational bridge-building can impact your church and your community at the annual Church of Irresistible Influence conference.

About the Author

Dr. Robert Lewis is pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, founder of Men's Fraternity, and chairman of the board of Fellowship Associates, a church consulting and leadership training organization. His previous books include "Rocking the Roles, "Raising a Modern Day Knight", and "Team Building in Marriage." His annual Church of Irresistible Influence conference attracts hundreds of church leaders and key laypersons from around the world.

Rob Wilkins is a freelance writer who wrote "Taking the Child's Way Home" and, with various authors, seven other books. He received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He lives in Etowah, NC.

More About the Author

Robert Lewis is the best-selling author of Raising a Modern-Day Knight and Rocking the Roles: Building a Win-Win Marriage. He is also executive director of the Global Reach research/resource organization, founder of the Men's Fraternity ministry, and pastor-at-large for Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2001, he was named Pastor of the Year by the National Coalition of Men's Ministry. He and his wife, Sherard, have four children. Jeremy Howard holds a Ph.D. in Christian Apologetics and Worldview Studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Now a writer and editor, he lives with his wife and children in Nashville, Tennessee.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book is being used as a resource for that paper as it solidified that thoughts for me.
David Phillips
If we all were able to show Christ to the world around us the way the book encourages us to do, we would live in a different world.
Amazon Customer
This is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read, very informative and relevant to the times we are in.
George

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Phillips on April 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am taking a PhD class in organizational communications from the University of South Florida and one of the topics we covered in the class was corporate reputation. My interest in that specific area spilled over into that topic being applied to the church. I have started with the question, "What impacts the reputation of the church?" and the answer points to the presence of the body of faith in service to it's community. It is actually my major project for the semester. This book is being used as a resource for that paper as it solidified that thoughts for me.
This book has put into words much of what I have thought, implemented, taught and preached for the past 5 years. It is as monumental to my thoughts towards ministry as Warren's Purpose Driven Church and George Hunter's Church for the Unchurch. If you can read just one book on church leadership this year, read this one. It will challenge you and may place you outside your comfort zone, but it will help move your church towards impacting and influencing your community in ways that please God and grow His kingdom.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Swanson on September 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I am the first person to review this landmark book, I will not be the last. As one who is a student of what God is doing through churches in our communities, I am greatly impressed about what the faith community of Little Rock is doing to build "incarnational bridges" into their community. I personally believe this will be the next wave for churches. If you are interested in this process I can recommend a couple of books that have a similar story:
The Church that Never Sleeps by Matthew Barnett
Meeting Needs, Sharing Christ by Charles Roesel
City Reaching by Jack Dennison
Urban Churches: Vital Signs by Nile Harper
Recently, 25 pastors in Boulder County, who are committed to its spiritual transformation, received a copy of this book. If we apply the principles in this book, our community will never be the same!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely important book, as it tells the story of one church's metamorphosis from a typical 20th century church to a church with truly "Irresistible Influence" in its community.
It tells the story in a very well-written, easy-to-read way, of the Fellowship Bible Church of Little Rock, Arkansas.
A church that is truly striving to "make disciples" in the manner that Jesus intended when He gave His disciples that Commission.
It is a breath of fresh air, and it inspired me to: try to persaude my own church to adopt their approach; or find a church-planting group that is using these principles, and join them.
Inspiring! Five stars!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chad Oberholtzer on January 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Church of Irresistible Influence" is one of the most compelling books that I've ever read about what the church can and should be. I'm not one to casually embrace huge concepts on a whim, so I'm not yet convinced that every notion from this book is appropriate or even workable in many churches. In fact, Lewis' church has undergone some significant organizational changes since he wrote the book. I would be most intrigued to read a sequel that describes the process of becoming a church of irresistible influence after several more years of experience.

In any case, perfect model or not, Lewis presents many extremely dynamic examples of how his church (and, more specifically, the people within his church) began to impact the Little Rock community in amazing ways. It's great to read those stories of connection, blessing, and service, particularly as so many churches are becoming painfully aware of how useless they really are to their communities.

I would strongly recommend this book to any modern church leader, not because I think that every church should adopt this exact model of church structure, but because it presents some big issues and paradigm-shifting ideas that have the potential to totally redefine the impact of the American church. It just might totally rearrange the way you think about church!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Strong on January 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lewis' book is a welcome offering, calling the church to "get beyond itself" and instead focus on how to radically bless those around it. Through this process, the church will recover her original mission and ministry and incarnate Christ to those wanting to believe, but distrustful of empty religion.
A thought provoking book full of inspiring stories, it is sure to usher in a welcomed paradigm shift in how and why we "do" church.
A read you won't regret.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laurence T. Baxter VINE VOICE on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
"The truth is finally revealed. Anything done in the name of Christ, in the name of love, is ministry. Anything." That's a powerful quote that caught my attention from this book "The Church of Irresistible Influence: Bridge Building Stories to Help Reach Your Community," by Dr. Robert Lewis. The Church of Irresistible Influence is a story-filled book describing the early church's spiritual energy and depth which amazingly transformed the surrounding culture - and encouraging the church to do its best to do nothing less. Lewis shares the story of Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, and encourages the use of a bridge metaphor to become a church of " irresistible influence" (or i2). The book has five parts: i) Spanning the great divide - what will it take to reconnect church and culture; ii) Designing the Structure - How-to of incarnational bridge building; iii) Experiencing the Results - true stories of i2 in action; iv) Expanding the i2 effort - through partnering and leadership development; v) Anticipating the Future - the Church in the 21st C.

What would it look like if it were more important that our lives were more attractive, rather than our church buildings? That's a key question that is addressed in detail in the book. The early sections talk a lot about the motivation for reaching out to the community, and the heart and leadership changes that will need to happen for this to come to pass. Towards the end it gets very practical in discussing implementation ideas and structure. "Structure" is about unleashing people with purpose - this structure must allow for hands-on i2 exposures, personal i2 ministry, strategic i2 investments. FBC's small group structure "intentionally processes people toward finding a personal ministry of influence.
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