Ch10→ Free: “New Testament Church Dynamics” (Paperback). Strategies for Bi-Vocational Pastors


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What is the ideal ecclesiology for bi-vocational pastors? Shepherding, teaching, and disciple making require hard work. Learn how your small church can have a BIG impact on the lives of its members within the framework of early-church practice—the ideal ecclesiology for an effective for bi-vocational ministry.

Every New Testament church letter was written to an illegal congregation that met secretly in a private home. The norm was for pastors to be bi-vocational. The ecclesiology presented in the epistles was thus designed to help bi-vo pastors make disciples in smaller settings. Using these inspired apostolic practices, believers were effectively taught to obey all that Jesus commanded. The result was that the Church spread like yeast throughout the nations of Roman Empire.

You can’t play baseball in a forest. It could be played on a football field. It is best played on an actual baseball field. So too, we believe that the best setting for shepherding is in the context of early small-church practice. The close relationships that develop will allow for personalized discipleship.

New Testament Church Dynamics details what both the Scriptures and the scholars have to say about dynamic New Testament ecclesiology, plus how to apply it today (based on our thirty-years’ experience).

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“There is much here to help you think through how to recover vibrant church life, even if you see it differently here or there. Unmuddle your ecclesiastical grey matter by reading and contemplating these challenging principles.” — Jim Elliff, Baptist pastor, Missouri


“A compelling and thorough Biblical case for the modern church returning to some of the foundational practices of the early church with very practical steps to help the pastor institute these practices in today’s church. With over 40 years of pastoral experience, I can truthfully say this book should be required reading for all church planters.” —AT Stewart, Baptist pastor, Georgia


“An ecclesiology rooted in New Testament church practice rather than in the shifting sands of contemporary church growth fads. After establishing normative church practice from NT church patterns, the author then gives pragmatic ways those practices can be implemented within modern western culture, thus happily integrating practice with theology. This book is a godsend for those frustrated by the failures of modern evangelical "models" for church practice, and for those who are discovering that the model provided by the Holy Spirit-inspired apostles is the most practical model of them all.” —Dan Trotter, missionary


“In a day where ‘How To’ is rarely backed up with ‘Why To’, a work arrives where these thoughts meet. This timely resource is supported by timeless Biblical insights to assist those who seek to put into practice what many simply theorize about. Convincing, convicting, and illuminating, this handbook provides a glimpse into how church life was in the first century and how it can be in this century." —Tim Andrews, pastor, Georgia


"This book is not about a new model for church—it is about faithfully incorporating biblical principles for gathering that have somehow gotten lost. Stephen's writing persuaded me fifteen years ago to adopt these principles both in my ministry and in my family's church experience. I'm still persuaded."  —Brian K, missionary


“When sound exegesis and practical application meet together you get a book like Stephen’s where he not only discusses the theological principals of New Testament Church dynamics but also discusses how to put them into practice in the context of the local assembly. Participatory worship, the Lord’s Supper as a full meal, small church model, and much more—he leaves no stone unturned. This book is a must read for anyone interested in New Testament Church practices and how to transition or implement them in your own context whether it be house church, traditional church, or anything in between.” —Paul Kaiser, Baptist pastor, California


“A fresh breath of theological insight to me when I was desperately seeking God with the prayer, ‘Lord, there has to be more about your church. Help me discover it.’” —Reuben P, pastor, India


“The Lord began to reveal to me what his church should be like. The information in this book became my foundation. It very accurately and thoroughly details all the legacies left to us by the apostles of Jesus Christ. They left a pattern for us to build a church, such as it should be. The individual pieces of my understanding of the church this material folded into the whole picture.” —Andrey Milkin, church planter, Russia


“A great practical tool for pastors, church planters, missionaries, and all Christians seeking to live out basic cross-cultural New Testament Church principles in local churches today.” —Joshua B, missionary


“Good practical ecclesiology. Applying these things can bring joy and growth to the assembly. May this book be a blessing to many!” —AP, church planter, Asia


“The antidote to the evangelical obsession with the ‘bigger is better’ model of church organisation. It is not a cure-all panacea for the many ills in the church today; however it is the start of a conversation that may—with God’s help—lead to much-needed reform. If you would like to know what church patterned after New Testament principles and practices looks like, then New Testament Church Dynamics is for you.” —Robert Millar, Baptist pastor, N. Ireland


“How can the church survive and even multiplied in nations where it experiences great intolerance and persecution? It's rather simple. Follow the proven practices and examples of the early church as set forth in God's word. In this short but thought-provoking work we have a survival guide.” —Moe Bergeron, teaching elder, New Hampshire


“Built on sound exegesis and providing the documentation of scholars as backup, Stephen Atkerson delivers a manual that is both scripturally compelling and practical ... a must-read for the church plant as well as established churches looking to leave the norms of dead traditionalism and return to the joy of the ekklesia of the New Testament.” —Chris Fales, church planter & PorchCon founder, USA


"A must have for all who are looking to understand apostolic precept and pattern when it comes to New Testament church life. From appointing elders to understanding the importance of apostolic tradition, Stephen Atkerson does a thorough job showing us what God's Spirit wants to accomplish in his people, the church." —Dustin Segers, evangelist, pastor, South Carolina


“Take the time to read this book, argue with it if you like, and then allow the truths contained herein to both reshape and refocus your image of a genuine New Testament church.”  —Scott Moore, Baptist pastor, Alabama


“Most of today’s churches are not biblical, but patristic, with grievous consequences. In his New Testament Church Dynamics, Stephen Atkerson vigorously challenges this, and urges a return to what he sees as the New Testament pattern. You may not endorse all he claims, but this is his clarion call to get back to the principles and practice of the ekklésia. And how necessary is that reform!” —David HJ Gay, preacher, teacher, author, England


“A fresh breath of theological insight to me when I was desperately seeking God with the prayer, ‘Lord, there has to be more about your church. Help me discover it.’” —Reuben P, pastor, India

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