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I Am Persuaded: Christian Leadership As Taught by Jesus Paperback – October 2, 2015
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About the Author
Jonathan Brenneman was born in Rochester, New York and raised in Pennsylvania. Although a very troubled child he was at the same time very religious. He read the Bible from cover to cover when he was seven years old, all the while questioning and wondering about the existence of God. When Jonathan was nine years old, he woke up one morning with bad back pain. His mother prayed for him, and to his surprise, he felt something like a hot ball of energy rolling up and down inside his back, and the pain melted away. It was shocking to say the least, but it convinced him God did exist! He later told his friends, “I know that God is real. I felt his hand on my back.” In spite of this experience, Jonathan still had no peace. He prayed the “sinner’s prayer” but with no change until two years later when he had a “born again” experience. It felt like heaven opened and unexplainable joy and peace descended upon him! He was different, and knew it! The things he had felt so guilty about that he tried unsuccessfully to change, were simply gone. After this time, Jonathan dedicated his life to the Lord as a missionary, going on his first mission trip at age fourteen. As a teenager and young adult he continued to travel and learn languages. Then, in a time of desperation when he was twenty years old, Jonathan went to a Christian conference where the Lord touched and encouraged him. It was the start of a supernatural lifestyle and growing in spiritual gifts, during which time many amazing miracles and healings began to happen. Jonathan worked in construction, but in between jobs he began to visit churches in the United States and Canada as well as in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Jonathan has encouraged the believers, shared testimonies, and spoken with unbelievers and prayed for them. He’s also worked with children and seniors. Jonathan believes it’s a wonderful and tremendous privilege to be able to serve the people for whom Jesus gave his life. Jonathan is now a missionary in Rio de Janeiro Brazil with his wife Elizabeth, and daughter Rebekah. He loves people, enjoys being with them, and rejoices at seeing what the Holy Spirit does in their lives. He likes to minister in the role of teaching, laying hands on the sick, visiting the elderly, and working with children—always loving them so they in turn will learn to love others with the love of God.
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Combine these ideas with Pastor Greg Simas' sermons on what ekklesia really is, and things might really get wild!
The only "missing" area I wish this book could have discussed is the continuing debate about women in the ekklesia.
We are all members of Christ's body and one spirit with Him who is our federal head. We are all servants who are to honor one another and build one another up in love. The truth of this defies a heirarchical authoritative structure that sets one brother or sister above the other in a position of domination. In his own humble and precise style, Jonathan carefully examines the language and its intent in the New Testament that decries the idea of dominating positions. He does this without abuse or ridicule, and moreover, he points the way to a truer brotherhood and unity in the body by describing the relationship Jesus and the New Testament writers actually teach and exemplify.
This is an important read for anyone struggling with their identity and place in Christ or desiring to teach a more perfect way.
If you have been struggling with how you should relate to "leaders" or "spiritual fathers/mothers" this book will give you a strong biblical foundation to enable you to be where Christ Jesus wants you to in relation to His body.
Read it asking the Holy Spirit to let you see truth and what is not truth.
You will need an ability to think beyond what has been spoon fed and examine the scriptures for yourself along with Jonathan as he takes you along on his journey of discovery of Christian leadership as taught by Jesus.
I want to read and re-read until I fully grasp these solid biblical truths that defy many traditions.