Book Review- Unmuted: Restoring Your Church’s Voice by Jim Wall
In America, indeed, in most of the Western world the Church has lost its voice. The institution that in past generations helped shaped the culture and morals of many nations has become largely irrelevant. There are many reasons for this but pastor, church-planter, and author Jim Wall does not stop to point fingers. He is much more concerned that the Church get back on track by being influential in a positive way in our communities.
Unmuted: Restoring Your Church's Voice examines six powerful traits of the New Testament Church as seen in the Acts of the Apostles. These six ideas transcend the two thousand years that have passed since the Church began. These six traits are:
- They were unified around a God-given vision.
- They were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- They preached relevant, simple truth.
- They were hungry to know God.
- They genuinely cared for each other.
- They unselfishly care about the community around them.
Jim Wall amplifies these six principles through his own long ministry as a church-planter and as a pastor. He tells story after story about how these Scriptural truths have worked all over the world. Wall spent many years as a missionary in the Philippines, where he planted almost seventy churches. He was the founding pastor of Community Church in Chesapeake, Virginia. They now have three campuses and a membership of over four thousand.
Unmuted does not attack the Church. It starts with the premise that the local church is still the hope for the world. Wall has seen first-hand how a healthy local church is the best means of reaching a community for Christ. At the same time, Wall understands that yesterday's methods will not reach this generation. Every new generation of church leaders will need to find the particular methods that will work for them in their respective communities.
In the first point that Wall discusses, he talks about the importance for those of us who are leaders in having a God-given vision and then sharing it in such a way that others want to embrace it. Real vision, though, isn't something we just think up over our morning coffee. "You won't find God's vision for your world in a book. You can only see it from your knees."
Wall has some great things to say about the modern church. The only way that we can reach the world is by being the Church that Jesus has called us to be. That does not mean we will all worship in the same way or even all express our faith in the same ways. "Unity is not the absence of conflict, it is the presence of agreement." We don't have to agree on everything to get along and fulfill the Great Commission.
In reality, non-Christians do not care what our doctrinal positions are. "Hurting people, lost without Jesus in their lives, are looking for hope and help. They don't care which doctrinal position our churches take on most of the issues we consider so sacred we would die defending them...Frankly, they don't care. They just want to know if we can help. They want to know if God is there."
Unmuted is a great book and would be a good first book to start your 2015 with! It is an easy read but it is packed with great stories and helpful information. Have a look!
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