Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#1: Vertical Church (James MacDonald)

on January 7, 2013

A new year has begun. In keeping with the tradition of the past few years, I decided to begin my year of reading with a Christian book.  Vertical Church is a challenging call written by the senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel.  Essentially, the book challenges churches to make sure that everything they do has honoring God as its focus rather than relationship building (referred to as horizontal by MacDonald).  The first 4 chapters deal with the Biblical support for the vertical approach to church while the remaining chapters focus on the primary pillars of the vertical approach — worship, preaching, evangelism, and prayer.

I think this is a must read for everyone working in church ministry.  It refocuses our attention to what is truly important in all of our efforts and points out how the horizontal will be taken care of when the vertical focus is central.  The reverse situation, however, is not true.  For many churches in the West, we have spent our efforts building human relationships that we have called “discipleship” while allowing our impassioned pursuit of God’s presence in our lives and services suffer. This call to change business as usual will definitely challenge your thinking and cause you to examine your own leadership model. While the book’s basic premise is very elementary (“God first”), the ideas are developed deeply and will give the most seasoned minister food for thought.

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