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Dangerous Church: Risking Everything to Reach Everyone (Leadership Network Innovation Series) Paperback – April 24, 2011
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What would it look like if we lived on the wild side as a church? Who might we reach? How might God show up in the most unexpected ways? John Bishop challenges us to open our hearts and minds to all God desires to do in our congregations and communities, and to experience the fullness of grace every step of the way. This book will challenge the way you lead forever. -- Margaret Feinberg, Author
In every area of life, we find reassurance in the familiar. Yet the essence of Christianity is about looking past our comfort in order to reach those who are far away from God. In this book, John Bishop takes readers on a personal journey. And as he stretches us beyond the limits of our comfort and unpacks the power of risk, he reveals what a life of dangerous faith can produce---a life of passion, power, and true purpose. -- Ed Young, Pastor
Tired of the status quo---business as usual in your life and ministry? Dangerous Church will shake you out of your comfort zone and into your divine calling. In an honest and humble way, John Bishop challenges the church to recover its lost passion and fulfill its destiny. ---Kerry Shook, Pastor, Woodlands Church -- Kerry Shook, Pastor
John Bishop’s passion to take God’s grace to a world in need excites and challenges me as a pastor, and I know it will do the same for you. As you read the story of Living Hope, I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit reshape your ministry paradigm and rekindle your compassion for the lost. ---Judah Smith, Pastor, The City Church -- Judah Smith, Pastor
The Bride of Christ is rising on the earth like never before. A “dangerous church” is a church that is alive, full of the lost and broken, a generous church that takes risks. It is a church that is willing to be exposed to misunderstanding and persecution for the sake of the gospel. John Bishop will confront, enlarge, and equip any leader who has the courage to read this book and do whatever it takes to see the cause of Christ advanced on the earth. -- Brian Houston, Pastor
Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” John Bishop and the people at Living Hope Church understand that Jesus meant the church, not our enemy, is what is truly dangerous, really on the offense, the one that is overcoming. As you read Dangerous Church you’ll see the compelling story of a church that risks everything for God to enjoy the thrill of joining Jesus on mission. Because I walked with them through much of the journey, I can say the story is awesome. Only God! ---Dr. Gerry Breshears, Professor of Theology, Western Seminary -- Dr. Gerry Breshears, Professor
John Bishop is dangerous. So is his church. That’s why their story needs to be told. It’s a story of steps of faith so large (and at times so crazy) that “Only God” could bring success. Read it, and then let God ignite the danger within. -- Larry Osborne, Pastor and Author
I have witnessed first hand the environment, the power, and the creativity of the dangerous church John leads. I was blown away. Still am. One thing I know, The Dangerous Church model might not fit your profile right now, but if you give the principles in this book a chance, they most likely will change for all time how you do what you do as a Christian leader. I love John and celebrate his creativity. ---H. B. London Jr., Vice President, Focus on the Family -- H. B. London Jr, Vice President
From the Back Cover
Dangerous churches are willing to put everything on the line for the one thing that matters most; reaching lost people. Through probing questions and amazing stories of God's grace, John Bishop confronts church leaders to embrace what matters most to the heart of God, whatever the cost. Most churches naturally gravitate to what is safe and familiar. Church leaders who take risks are bound to fail, and fear drives us to continue in our comfortable, but ineffective patterns. But reaching out to a lost world was never meant to be easy. Jesus promised his followers that they would have trouble in this world. Dangerous churches are churches that are willing to risk everything---comfort, safety, and the security of the familiar---for the sake of the one thing that matters most: reaching out to people who may spend eternity separated from the God who created them. God wants us to live on the edge of our margins, walking by faith and not simply following scripted methods or programmed patterns. Dangerous Church takes you back to the Book of Acts and reminds church leaders that the heartbeat of the church is not found in agendas or human plans, but in pursuing the mission of God and reaching out to a lost world. Learn what can happen when church leaders abandon their fears and begin to live a dangerous faith. Dangerous Church is part of the Leadership Network Innovation Series.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now comes John Bishop with this book Dangerous Church. His words have literally been a message from God to me. I had downloaded it Tuesday morning, early, then headed to my office at the church. Once there I spent an extended time in prayer (mostly listening in silence) about the direction of a new work that God has been urging me toward over the past year. As my time of prayer ended I felt prompted to pick up this book. I tell you that I feel like the Samaritan women at the well when she said, "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done..." God has used "Dangerous Church" to pierce my soul and give my longing heart renewed faith that the Church that Jesus is building is alive and well and that I can still see it bring light to the lost world. John Bishop has reminded me that no matter how many good things we are doing for God He has much more that He wants to accomplish in us and through us than we could ever plan or undertake or even imagine. "Dangerous Church" has exposed my every fear about the work I have been doing and given structure to my concerns over my effectiveness in living the life God has for me. This book has given voice to the words of Jesus as He tells us to "seek that which was lost..", and to "... go and make disciples of ...EVERYONE!" For my part I had forgotten the incredible power of this simple program!
God has confirmed something He has been nudging me with over the past couple of years in the experiences of John Bishop recorded in this book. I pray that as you read it He will show you anew His love for you and His will for you too! I pray that both you and I become willing to RISK EVERYTHING TO REACH EVERYONE! I know that God is telling me, at least, that when we give everything to Him and risk everything we think we are for Him in the way described in this book that HE WILL SHOW UP AND DO SOMETHING WE CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE! AND WE TOO WILL SAY "...ONLY GOD."
While some of the church leadership lessons which John describes will be familiar to seasoned leaders, such as the lack of results when you try to copy Bill Hybels or Rick Warren or Billy Graham instead of finding the particular style which God has given you, other lessons are unique to the experience of Living Hope. I found chapter 8 "The Smell of the Church" particularly helpful. The aroma of a church is supposed to be the unmistakeable fragrance of the grace of Jesus Christ, but it can so easily change to the odour of human effort and striving.
I was also challenged by chapter 11 "When We See Jesus and Want Hand Sanitizer", in which John describes overcoming fear and revulsion to embrace Jesus in the person of a disfigured leper in India. He also describes the difference between the easy mission trip option of visiting the poor and needy and the hard option of making a commitment to improve their lives by making a longer-term investment in a community.
I found the book highly engaging throughout. John's obvious passion for evangelism shines throughout the book, and part of it is sure to rub off on any reader whose evangelistic passion has been waning. The story of John's own faith journey is deeply moving, and his leadership lessons are sure to inspire and challenge any church leader.