An analysis (thesis and supporting arguments) of the book
Sue is a renowned author who not only writes but she also practices all she stands for in the writing. This book is a hand on Christian manual which is very instrumental in the gospel. She tries to emphasize that a church should rise from the level of being ministered to, to the level where they minister to others. This manual helps churches to develop good characters in their leaders and also to create systems for mobilizing various lay men into their service. As a faculty member of fuller seminary and golden theological seminary, she emphasizes the call according to Ephesians 4:11-13. Through this, she explains that Christianity is not just a division of labor but is a call that should be taken seriously by all. Through this, she says that everything that is done by people should be considered as a ministry. The book further displays her desire and opinions that the church should be transformed from that which is being ministered to, to that which ministers and reaches out to others. A greater part of the book is about empowering more people to serve God at different levels.
AN EVALUATION (CRITICAL REFLECTION ON STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES) OF THE BOOK
Sue’s book has a major goal of empowering more people to serve God. Her arguments are very strong because she takes the basis work from the bible. The book of Ephesians illustrates that all servants of God should aim at making more servants to serve in God’s vineyard. Through this concept, Sue’s book flows to challenge the lay men to equip more people in the Christian ministry.
The arguments presented by Mallory are very concrete. The illustration to the lay volunteers reveals the benefit that will come upon the lay men as they go fourth into ministry. She says that the lay men will realize that their faith will be energized. This is an advantage to the lay men and can act as a ground to attract more people to serve God. She adds that participation of the lay men will in turn invigorate the congregation. She later challenges the church leaders to incorporate the young people into service so that they too may be equipped to serve independently. The challenge is strength in the book because it creates an all inclusive campaign. This means that everyone is involved in this pursuit ranging from the volunteers, the lay and the leaders.
Mallory send home her ideas through the use of local examples. An example is the trial and error process that was experienced in the Presbyterian church of Brentwood. The empowering principles are illustrated in all the sections of the book. This enhances the flow and understanding.
NOTE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CONCEPTS IN THE BOOK AND WHY THEY ARE SIGNIFICANT
Mallory rebukes elderly leaders for failing to nurture the young to take up leadership positions. The idea is so good because it opens chances for the youth to also embrace leadership at a young age. There is no better way to learn apart from through the experience itself. It is so good to entrust the young so that they be corrected immediately while through mentorship. The bible says that the harvest is plentiful but the laborious are few. It is therefore the obligation of the current leadership to equip the youth in the best time. This will result into multiplication of God’s servants.
Mallory insists that empowerment must begin from home church before it spreads into the rest of the parts. This concept enables the young leaders to train and put to practice all they have learnt while still at home. Any corrections on the mistakes that come by are then done at this junior level before the young leaders go out in public. This helps to preserve the image of the church so that only quality service is offered to God in public.
To succeed in bringing all round changes, Mallory also puts it that a church minister must be financially stable. She uses her own example by illustrating how she makes it in her businesses and also brings in her money to be used in church activities. This concept is so true because financial independence makes things to move more easily in a church.
Mallory, Sue. The Equipping Church: Serving Together to Transform Lives. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001.
Tomasi. Church history. NY: Oxford, 2000.
Neinn Church leaderchip. London: Oxford, 2004.