Transforming the church with Jesus

currently-books-2Springs of Living Water: Christ-Centered Church Renewal
David S. Young

Herald Press, 2008
300 pages
In Springs of Living Water, David Young draws on 30 years’ experience in the local church as a pastor, seminary professor, and church renewal facilitator, to outline a Christ-centred, Spirit-filled discipleship process to bring new life and vitality to the local church. The book provides a framework for what Richard Foster, in the foreword, calls “the soul transformation of the church.”

The most refreshing aspect of Young’s process is that he does not provide a detailed program and guarantee renewal. He continually emphasizes the need for the renewal team to adapt the process to their church’s journey. The book is full of examples of churches employing creativity in using the Springs process. In one example, the renewal team at Cedar Hills Baptist Church in Portland, Ore., wrote down their church’s strengths on building blocks which they arranged at the front of the sanctuary.

Young’s commitment to the Anabaptist values of discipleship and the priesthood of all believers is evident. He does not advocate the pastor spearheading a process alone; a renewal team should be called and trained. The team is responsible for laying the groundwork and guiding the church toward a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus. Their servant leadership will engage the entire congregation in the renewal process.

The Springs process is grounded in Jesus. Development of spiritual disciplines, community hermeneutic, and prayer are key to the success of a Springs approach. Young notes that people will recognize that renewal is occurring, not as the church grows in size, but as Jesus becomes preeminent in a congregation.

Springs of Living Water is an excellent resource – a handbook – for churches seeking Christ-centred renewal. Its informative chapters and numerous appendices will set a church on a good course to finding out what the process of renewal looks like in their midst.

—Melissa Davis

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