Robinson Darrell W 1997 Total Church Life  Book Report

Excerpt from Book Report :

Robinson, Darrell W. (1997). Total church Life: How to be a first century church in a 21st century world. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Homan. The writer provides a summary of chapters two through twelve and then discusses what classification this book fits into. The writer completes the work with a one page reflection about the author's viewpoints with three leaders named who would agree with the author's views.

Info: 1. summarize the content of each chapter in one half page. Take only chapters 2 through 12

classify the book as to type and specialized field of study and critique it as if you were submitting a book review for a major journal - one and a half pages.

write a one-page reflective (judge, critique, assess) paper synthesizing the author's views with those of others in the field. Highlight three other leading thinkers in this discipine with whom this author can be syntesized.

When Darrell W. Robinson penned Total church Life: How to be a first century church in a 21st century world he probably had no idea it would become the catalyst for the many readers that it did to improve their own spiritual works and ventures. The book provided readers around the world with insight to the needs of Christians today, with the events, problems and issues that are currently faced. This book allows the reader to understand the author's passion for the steps it takes to grow and flourish as a church body. With this book he provides a blueprint foundation for those who want to work on growing their own church following and doing so while providing the spiritual guidance so desperately needed as we enter this new millennium.

Chapter two of this book deals with the health of the church. The author illustrates through his life examples how important it is to have a healthy congregation and that starts with having healthy leadership and common sense. When problems arise, the way the head of the church provides guidance is a strong determinate for how the congregation reacts according to his words. In one example Robinson shares an argument about selling the church piano. The entire argument was about the piano being replaced when it had served the church well in the past. The deacon who stopped the argument did so by agreeing to the piano's worth and discussing moving forward with an upgrade (Robinson pg 33).

Chapter three moves into a new realm of healing when it comes to churches and their growth when it lets the reader see the importance of fellowship. Fellowship is arguably the most important action parishioners can take to strengthen their church loyalty and devotion. According to Robinson fellowship (Robinson pg 47) Satan is not pleased when a church has great fellowship. He will do anything he can to destroy it." This statement alone in the third chapter enlightens the reader to the importance and power of strong fellowship because if it threatens Satan it has to be a good thing. The author explores the types of fellowship and how the fellowship efforts can be injured through straying from Christ, or excluding those who want to join in.

Chapter four provides a tremendous amount of guidance in the area of church leadership and what it takes to make a wonderful pastor. The author even provides a list of the traits of the "Ideal Preacher" which has traits that no human can fulfill including being 26 years old and having preached for more than 30 years. This chapter provides stepping stones for a pastor who feels he or she has moved away from the core duties of their passion and need to get turned around again. While some of the author's tongue in cheek suggestions seem impossible he does provide many targets or goals that he believes a church pastor should aim for and strive to accomplishment.

Following the step-by-step instructions to being the best pastor possible in Chapter four the author moves the reader into some deeper waters when in chapter five he removes some of the power he just provided for the pastor and insists that true long-term growth and power comes from the laity factor of the church. Providing and equipping the laity with the tools it needs to win the community to Christ may not provide short-term flashy results but in the long run it will work to build a solid church membership that will be committed for years to come (Robinson pg 87)This chapter focuses on finding the strengths of the church members and encouraging them to use those strengths for the purpose of bringing others to Christ through the word of the bible. It is a chapter that allows the pastor to see he or she is after all only human and not worthy of a pedestal existence. His or her job according to Robinson is down in the trenches preparing his congregation members for battle as they go into the world and through actions and deeds bring that world to Christ.

After Robinson convinces the reader in Chapter five about the importance of laity he works on the setting up of their work and their membership through the activities of the church and the pastor. He discusses several aspects of engaging members of laity in growing the church through their work in the world and social events. He leads the reader in how to do so with suggestions that include reporting efforts, enlisting members and other things that will assist as the members of the congregation go out into the world and meet and greet potential Christians. This chapter is devoted to the recognition of the importance of letting lay members work to gather new members to the church and provides a working plan in ways that it can be accomplished. One of the focuses of this chapter is how one can make time to mission for the church. It asks several questions about how time is used and suggests ways that time can be made or saved for the very important purpose of sharing God's word with others.

When the chapter is finished with its blueprint for laity members the author moves toward a new mission. In chapter seven Robinson works to bring each member's gifts to the forefront of their life. God provides each of us with gifts according to the author and if those gifts are discovered and developed they can be used for the purpose of sharing the word of the Lord. In this chapter Robinson talks about finding the gifts within us and using them for God's work. The gifts should be nurtured through training and education as well as study of scripture according to Robinson who uses examples again to illustrate his points.

As the reader leaves chapter seven he or she should be feeling confident in the ability to seek out laity members, trust the guidance of the leaders of the church and encourage congregation laity members to identify their individual gifts, strengthen those gifts through the use of education and scripture and use them to bring others to Christ.

With these things ingrained according to the author's blueprint he moves into chapter eight with a housekeeping chapter about organization. While this is one of the less exciting aspects of any church and its growth, without it the church cannot grow and has a chance of failing in the future according to the author. Robinson spends chapter eight discussing why organization is not only an important feature to the success of any church but is also something that is mandated in scripture. Robinson again uses personal examples to outline his beliefs and ideas when he lets the reader see how organization can change the direction of a church from failure to success just by making some changes in the way things are organized and handled (Robinson pg 136).

Chapter nine is one of the most important chapters of the entire book. In chapter nine the author works to illustrate where evangelism should fit into the life of the Christian. As the world becomes busy and everybody rushes to get everything done it is easy to push the need to evangelize to the back of the list of priorities. This chapter overcomes that tendency by reminding the reader how important evangelism is and detailing its place in life according to scripture. It is not enough to go to church on Sunday's and bible study on Wednesday night according to the author. It is the duty of every Christian to make the work of Jesus the number one priority in their life according to the book's chapter nine.

Once chapter nine reminds the reader of the importance of evangelizing chapter ten helps get the church back on track with a chapter on how to plan for its course of action. Planning for evangelism is something that must be done if the plan is to be successful says the author, who writes up a blueprint of activities the church…

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