Magnify Your Vision for the Small Church

By John Rowell… This is a story of a small(ish) group of believers who fearlessly walk through doors that others would not. God used this church to bring the Gospel to a needy place. Written in 1996 and published in 1998, the book then becomes a philosophy for and textbook of small church missions. Rowell challenges a great deal of  traditional thinking and methodologies in missions. He uses his own ministry and its successes in outreach anecdotally not only to illustrate but then to become the basis for “Synergistic Missions.” In the appendix to the book are found copies of agreements, strategies and plans for what one contributor in the appendix calls a paradigm shift. This work seems to be the publication of the author’s doctoral dissertation. It has been successful in its distribution since the copy I have is a second printing, done in 1999. The two biggest values to me were the story of ministry and the wealth of Scripture . The challenge I had was at times his passion came off as pretension. But this is the risk one runs when he believes that what he is putting forth is from God. In that case, it is better to risk pretension than shortchange the passion. Below are citations that I found helpful to my thinking.

“Jesus proved by feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish that it is not the size of our resource pool, but the limits of our faith and our vision that determines our impact for the Kingdom of God.” (p. 13)

Here is how this church identified a thoughtful strategy to adopt an unreached people group:

1. Select a people group for adoption

2. Organizing prayer for the people groups selected

3. Conducting research

4. Networking

5. Church Planting (p. 42)

“More opportunities to advance the gospel around the world have been lost in our lifetime due to caution than for any other reason. America;s missionaries are often hindered because they move too carefully and too slowly.” (p. 61  a quote from a missionary in Russia)

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