I'm a graphic designer turned pastor (or vice versa) living in Blacksburg, Virginia. Fantasy footballer, husband, dad, tech geek, blogger (www.journeyguy.com) and author.
The Case for Antioch: A Biblical Model for Transformational Church is not a work that should only be read by students. Rather, it’s a book for practitioners. Whether you’re a small group leader, deacon, elder or pastor in your church, this is an encouraging book full of biblical insight. It’s worth digesting with a group, whether your staff or leadership team.
Using the example of the church in Antioch in the New Testament, Iorg identifies seven characteristics found in that first century spiritual dynamo of a church that have significant implications for changing your church as well.
Each of the above are dealt with in their own chapter. The ones I found to be the best are spiritual power, doctrinal convictions and strong leaders and followers.
From the chapter on spiritual power, Iorg challenges pastors and ministry leaders not to succumb to being CEOs, and he points to the examples of the leaders in the Antioch church. They were led by the Spirit.
"The spiritual responsibility to be a pacesetter is a normal expectation of pastoral leaders. Pastors, and others in related ministerial roles, are spiritual leaders. We aren’t primarily organizers or administrators. Our leadership skills are more than a collection of abilities and acquired techniques. We are more than speakers and motivators influencing people by charisma or intellect. We are spiritual leaders. We model what it means to follow the Spirit’s leading, to be Spirit-controlled, to be in biblical language, 'filled with the Spirit.'"
The chapter on doctrinal convictions is an important read for church leaders and members. Iorg describes the conflict that almost split the early Christian movement between Jews and Gentiles and the resulting council that met in Jerusalem in Acts 15. They went to great lengths to defend and uphold doctrinal truth, and throughout the New Testament (and early church history) false teachers and heretics are called out by name in order to warn the churches. Today’s Christian culture lives in fear of offending false teachers, on the other hand. However, the maintenance of unity and doctrinal integrity are the responsibility of leaders.