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The Reformers viewed the gospel as not merely one thing among many in the life of a church but rather the means by which the church exists. When the gospel is rightly declared and applied to God's people, the church becomes 'a creature of the Word.' She understands, embraces, and lives out the reality of Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection in more than her doctrinal statement. The gospel impacts all the church is and does.
Creature of the Word lays out this concept in full, first examining the rich, scripture-based beauty of a Jesus-centered church, then clearly providing practical steps toward forming a Jesus-centered church. Authors Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger, and Josh Patterson write what will become a center-ing discussion piece for those whose goal is to be part of a church that has its theology, culture, and practice completely saturated in the gospel.
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Matt Chandler serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX. He has served in that role since December 2002 and describes his tenure at The Village as a re-planting effort where he was involved in changing the theological and philosophical culture of the congregation. The church has witnessed a tremendous response growing from 160 people to over 10,000 with campuses in Flower Mound, Dallas and Denton.
Alongside his current role as lead pastor, Matt is involved in church planting efforts both locally and internationally through The Village and various strategic partnerships. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over 10 years where he spoke to thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. His greatest joy outside of Jesus is being married to Lauren and being a dad to their three children, Audrey, Reid and Norah.
Recently, Matt was named president of Acts 29, a worldwide church-planting organization. Over the last 10 years, Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to over 400 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries.
Matt speaks at conferences throughout the world and has written a book, The Explicit Gospel, published in April 2012.
Eric Geiger serves as the vice president of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best-selling church leadership book, Simple Church. He is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters, Eden and Evie.
Josh Patterson serves as lead pastor of Ministry Leadership at The Village Church located in the Dallas/Fort Worth region of Texas. He and his wife, Natalie, are the proud parents of Lily, Luke, and Liv.
In Creature of the Word you will learn that the Bible is not about us; it is about Jesus and how to live all of life with Him, like Him, and for Him. This is a foundational, practical, and helpful book for both Christians and church leaders.—Mark Driscoll, pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle, Washington
I love Matt Chandler, his heart for the gospel and his love for the church. I am so glad that he, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger wrote this book addressing the fact that God’s Word should be the foundation of the Church rather than the latest trend that seems to be working in the world. This book provides a fresh challenge for all of us and will help us establish a biblical foundation in regard to the ONE THING that Jesus promised He would build!—Perry Noble, senior pastor, NewSpring Church, South Carolina, and author of Unleash!: Breaking Free from Normalcy
Our homes, communities, cities, and nations need churches that are immersed in the gospel and fueled by the gospel. Why? Because the good news of Jesus Christ changes everything! I am encouraged and excited by the strong gospel challenge found in Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church. Matt, Josh, and Eric provide a clarion call for our churches to recapture their awe for Jesus and His perfect work accomplished on our behalf. They help us see how the beautiful bride of Christ can be possessed by both a doctrine and a culture centered on Jesus. This is the kind of book the Church has needed for a long time.—Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina
Creature of the Word is a crystal clear call to the Church to recenter around Jesus and the gospel. Practical yet theological, I recommend this book as essential reading for anyone who would lead or plant a church.—Matt Carter, pastor, Preaching and Vision at The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas
Too often Jesus Christ is central to our theology but not to the way we do church. This book serves as a needed reminder and a powerful corrective for those of us who must continually recalibrate our ministry for Jesus with the person and work of Jesus.—Larry Osborne, pastor, North Coast Church, Vista, California, and author of Sticky Church
When a church goes vertical, it’s the small adjustment that leads to a major renovation. It’s an active, hard-hats-only construction zone where every decision has just one goal: to honor God. When we get that right, God Himself shows up and builds. My friend MattChandler and his colaborers Josh and Eric are calling us to make church about Jesus, again.—Dr. James MacDonald, senior pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago, Illinois, and author of Vertical Church
Be careful if you read this book. Creature of the Word will make you rethink much of what you think you know about the Church, its message, and its mission. Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger have conspired to write a book that will make you think more faithfully about the church and what it means for Christ’s people to be formed by the gospel. I welcome the conversations this book will spark.—R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Lately many books are coming out with a title that has “gospel” in it. As you begin to read the philosophical and allegorical talk about the gospel, there is a disconnect from the Word of God. However, what is phenomenal about Creature of the Word is that it is gospel-centered and rooted in the Word of God with uncanny readability. I hope that thiswork will devotionally impact the whole people of God and increase our intimacy with our God.—Eric Mason, lead pastor, Epiphany Fellowship, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Bible has been referred to as the “Him Book” because it’s all about Him. In Creature of the Word, we will be challenged to keep everything Jesus centered. This commitment always leads us into His work.—Johnny Hunt, pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia
There is no greater need for church leaders than for the reality of the person and work of Christ to permeate our entire being. This not only results in personal holiness but spills out all over the people to whom we minister. Creature of the Word will change you and those you shepherd.—Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and author of Church Planter
Godly leaders from my generation have prayed and deeply desired for a new generation of church leaders to lead His bride well. Works like Creature of the Word are an answer to our prayers. I am excited and hopeful for the local church after reading the encouragement and challenges Matt, Josh, and Eric offer. What an incredible book by three incredible leaders!—Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee
I look for five things when reading a book: readable, accessible, practical, helpful, and fresh. This book by Chandler, Patterson, and Geiger scores highly on all counts. It is a book church leaders should read,but it would be a great pity if the target audience was limited to that select group. Whatever your role or place among the people of God, do not hesitate to pick up this book and be refreshed by the insights, observations, and challenges you’ll find here. But primarily, the fresh encouragement to us to focus on, and be all about, Jesus.—Steve Timmis, director for Acts 29 (Western Europe) and coauthor of Total Church
Creature of the Word excites me because I know the result of churches centering themselves on Jesus, and His redemptive mission will result in God’s people engaging in kingdom work. Church leaders and staff teams should read and discuss this book in community.—Ed Stetzer, lead pastor of Grace Church, president, Lifeway Research
Creature of the Word paints a compelling and exciting picture of what a church can be under the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Matt, Josh, and Eric offer sound and practical insight that will encourage and challenge church leaders. How refreshing it is in a model-driven church world to read the call to all to be a Jesus-centered church! This alone makes me want to shout!—Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd, senior pastor, Cross Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and author of Our Last Great Hope
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