Sunday, May 9, 2010
Book Review: An Army of Ordinary People by Felicity Dale
In this revised and updated version of An Army of Ordinary People, Felicity Dale provides an anthology of stories detailing the lives of average people who adopt the "simple" church model, open their homes for ministry, and witness changes in their communities. Dale documents powerful stories of real people who lead others into relationship with God outside of the "traditional" church setting.
I appreciate the way that Dale expands common notions of ministry, arguing that ministry is the job of laypeople even as they go about the routine of normal life. Our relationship with God should not be confined to a designated schedule of church attendance but instead should impact the relationships we develop with those in our sphere of influence.
I also appreciated how Dale addresses some of the unique challenges of the "house" church paradigm. Although Dale's intent in this book is to encourage the growth of "simple" or "house" churches, she does so without disparaging the "legacy" church model. I'm not ready to abandon the traditional church format, but many of the strategies Dale espouses in this book could be modified to fit within a "legacy" church context, giving her message a broad appeal.
Tyndale House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.