"Church Unplugged "
Written by David Male
David Male's new book "Church Unplugged, Remodelling Church without Losing Your Soul" was published on Friday 5th September 2009.
The book tells the story of how David planted The Net Church in Huddersfield, one of the first fresh expressions in England, before coming to work for the Diocese of Ely as Fresh Expressions Advisor.
The book also acts as a guidebook for those wanting to start a church plant or fresh expressions. It is based on 10 essentials such as Team, Focus, Pace, Mission etc that need to be thought through in beginning any new venture.
Revd Paul Bayes, National Mission and Evangelism Advisor for the Archbishops Council, says, " Not many people have begun a fresh expression of church and nursed it through to maturity. David has though and in this book he gives a master class on how to listen, what to pray and then what to do."
It is true that Dave speaks in his book about his own experience of setting up a fresh expression designed specifically to reach those who would not normally associate with church. But this is not a ‘and then we...’ kind of book. Instead it challenges all of us to think about what church actually is and is shaped around ten essentials that Dave’s experience has led him to identify including focus, mission, community, discipleship and expectations.
Dave uses his own experience to illustrate his points and provides questions at the end of each short chapter and helpful further reading. He writes accessibly and humbly about the challenges and mistakes as well as the blessings. The back of the book says that is asks key questions and I would agree- these are not just questions for those seeking to be part of a ‘fresh expression’ though, all of us could benefit from thinking and praying over them.
I think this book could be really helpful to use with PCCs and church small groups to refresh our thinking and understanding of what it is to be church and also a valuable resource for the MAP process.
Review by: The Revd Cheryl Collins
Priest in Charge Barton, Coton and Dry Drayton.
Realistic, optimistic and full of good ideas, yet also an easy read. I warmly encourage others to buy it and read it (no, in case you're wondering, I'm not on commission!). I think this reflects with honesty and realism the challenges that face us in taking the Christian message out into the world
Bishops Advisor for Music
‘It’s been painful sometimes but alive and real’ so read the closing words of Dave Male’s excellent book – ‘Church Unplugged’.
Born in 1999 but conceived several years earlier ‘The Net’ was one of the very first Fresh Expressions of church in the UK. Describing it as a ‘network’ church Dave tells the story, warts and all, not only of the journey he made personally as a Church of England pioneer minister but also that of the brand new congregation as it struggled with issues of identity, purpose and calling. He describes it as an ordinary story in an ordinary town with ordinary people. That may be the case but undoubtedly through the perseverance, hard work, courage and faith of those who committed to this venture the ordinary was turned into something exceptional and that’s what makes it compelling reading. I particularly liked the real-life story inserts and the questions for discussion after each section. The heart of the book is divided into 10 essentials covering issues such as focus, community, discipleship and expectations. I feel that Dave approaches these in a balanced and reflective way and there are some pearls of wisdom scattered about which any ‘would be’ church planter would do well to heed.
This is for those who want to progress beyond the dreaming stage. It’s a ‘this is how you get your hands dirty’ type of book. A book for people who want to do something new but who are also prepared to do it in the real world where knocks and bruises come as standard issue. Engaging, honest, practical – get a copy and be inspired.
Director - RUN
For more details see http://www.wesleyowen.com/WesleyOwenSite/product/9781850787921.htm