Envisioning cruciform community built on resurrection hope.
After Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, he turned from coercion and violence to a ministry centered on the hope of Christ’s resurrection. In earthly terms, Paul had traded power for weakness. But—as he explained in his subsequent letters—this “weakness” was actually the key to flourishing community that is able to experience God’s transformation, restoration, and healing. What would it mean for pastors today to take seriously Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to “imitate me as I imitate Christ” and lead their congregations in this way?
Instead of drawing leadership principles and practices from the worlds of business, education, and politics—which tend to orient churches around institutional power and image maintenance—Timothy Gombis follows Paul in resisting the influence of the “present evil age” by making cruciformity the operating principle of the church. Gombis guides the reader through practices and patterns that can lead a congregation past a focus on individual salvation, toward becoming instead a site of resurrection power on earth.
Could pastors need a conversion? Could the professionalization of ‘ministry’ actually set ourselves up against God? Tim Gombis helps us see Paul as a pastor engaged in self-oriented ministry before he met Jesus, willing to use coercive power in order to move God to act on Israel’s behalf. Tim calls pastors to the same shattering renovation that Paul himself underwent and offers vulnerable examples from his own pastoral journey. This book is about Paul, about Tim, and about all of us engaged in the perilous vocation of shepherding God’s flock. Kyrie eleison.
—Julie Canlis, author of Calvin’s Ladder
The apostle Paul is back in vogue, supplanting all-too-common criticisms of him with evergreen insights into how to confront pastoral abscesses, intellectual excesses, and megachurch successes. In this wise and timely book Tim Gombis opens up the theological vision of the apostle when it comes to powermongering leaders in churches and society in a way that makes me even more fond of the apostle himself. The gospel Paul preached carried time bombs that continue to explode pastoral chicanery and ecclesiastical empires.
—Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary
Dr. Gombis’s work is equal parts insightful, challenging, and convicting. This work shows that the path to genuine (and paradoxical) resurrection ministry is through vulnerability and weakness, and not coercion, manipulation, or force. He helps reshape both the motives and methods of pastoral work through the lens of Paul’s tragedies and triumphs. For any ministry leader who wrestles with the common temptation of comparison, competition, or control, this book is for you. It certainly was for me. I recommend this book to all Christians, and especially to those whose vocations include equipping the body of Christ for faithful service to the world.
—AJ Sherrill, Lead Pastor, Mars Hill Bible Church
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.