Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My Book Leading the Presence-Driven Church Reviewed

My book Leading the Presence-Driven Church is available in paperback, Kindle, and hardcover.

This is a book about the primacy and centrality of God and his unsurpassable presence, and what this means for the Church. The presence of God is the core, the sine qua non, of mere Christianity. God’s presence is what is needed to win the day over the present powers of darkness. This book shows what it means for a church to be presence-driven, and what leadership looks like in the presence-driven church.

Bob Myers reviewed my book and writes (thank you Bob!):

"I am very fortunate. God has given me enough of a taste of his presence and power in my life that I deeply yearn for more. As a pastor, there is no greater desire that I have for my church than for my people to experience the powerful presence of Christ in our life together. Along with experiencing God in my own life, that fire has been often flamed by reading prophetic books such as A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God and Knowledge of the Holy. For me, the deep yearning began with Tozer, but other authors, such as Brother Lawrence, Ruth Haley Barton, Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, and many others have kept me unsatisfied with my own spiritual lethargy and that of the wonderful people I’ve served in ministry.

I found John Piippo’s book, Leading the Presence-Driven Church, to be a blowtorch that has reignited the deep yearning that I have for God’s presence in my life and in the life of my church. It’s that good. I’ve been following John’s blog for many years and I’m so glad that he has finally gotten his book published.

Piippo’s philosophy, theology, and methodology are not just words. He lives it. Even more, his church lives it, too. Perhaps that is why this book is so compelling. It resonates with every Christian who years to know Christ on a deeper experiential level. The author not only offers an understanding and a practical pathway towards “leading a presence-driven church,” but numerous personal anecdotes are given to illustrate the power and effectiveness of what he is teaching in the book.

Not every church will be like the author’s. Few will. The principles in Presence-Driven Church must be contextualized. I resonate deeply with his theology, passion, and most of his methodology. Some of what he is proposing as far as approach, I don’t necessarily agree with. My gifts tend toward bringing meaning and passion to a traditionally ordered corporate worship service. I’m of a more “liturgical” bent. But I can also envision a good deal of what Piippo prescribes and describes in this book. I believe that corporate worship is engaging with God as we rehearse His Story. If he doesn’t show up, then why bother? I’m convinced that God would have so much more for most of us as we gather in worship each week. Piippo’s book is an effort to help churches discover and release the power of God’s presence. It is my hope that the book may be a catalyst of renewal and real spiritual movement in my church and many others. God knows. We need it.

Pastors who yearn for God to manifest Himself in their churches should read this book and then invite sympathetic leaders in their church to join them in the journey. The book is not only for pastors; all those who yearn for God’s presence in their church should get this book and, in one of Piippo’s favorite sayings, “slow-cook it” together with others of like spirit."