Book Review -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 21:1 (Spring 2017)
Article: Book Review
Author: Anonymous


Book Review

Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send. J. D. Greear. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015. 256 pages. $19.99.

If you are a pastor or church leader, this book will challenge you to change the scorecard for how you measure success in ministry. J. D. Greear, senior pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC, argues convincingly that the true metric is not our seating capacity but our sending capacity. Greear calls churches, no matter their size, to return to the New Testament emphasis on making disciples and unselfishly sending them out to reproduce more disciples and new churches—rather than gathering them, counting them, and keeping them. To see global gospel advance and churches multiplied, Greear contends, churches must be willing to generously give away their resources—their leaders, people, money, time, and giftedness.

For local churches in North America to faithfully fulfill their Great Commission calling to reach our continent and the global nations for Christ, we need thousands of new churches--and the God-prepared leaders to start them. In Gaining By Losing, Pastor Greear uses the inspiring testimony of his own church to demonstrate how committed churches send out trained teams of their best people to parent daughter churches, thereby sharing in the passion, presence, and purpose of Christ, the Great Commissioner. He argues on clear biblical grounds that healthy churches are sending and planting churches—and that healthy Christians are going Christians. Every church and every Christian is born to reproduce.

The author is no arm-chair theoretician; nor is he a careless exegete. Greear has a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is also a faculty member. His doctoral dissertation focused on the correlations between early church presentations of the gospel and Islamic theology. Greear has also authored three other published books. Under his visionary leadership, Summit Church has been transformed from a plateaued 40-year-old traditional Baptist church of 350 people to become a dynamic, growing multi-site church. Summit has impacted not only its own city but over the last twelve years released and sent out over 650 of its

own people—many of them recent college graduates whom they have mentored to join church planting teams. Amazingly, Summit has now planted twenty five domestic churches and ninety international churches (116).

The book is split into two parts. Part one explains why churches should send and discusses some of the sending challenges. Greear shows that (1) all Christians are under gospel obligation (...

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