Ministry in the Image of God
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About "Ministry in the Image of God"
Merit winner in the 2006Christianity TodayBook Awards!"As the Father has sent me, so I send you."Those of us called to Christian ministry are commissioned and sent by Jesus, just as he himself was called and sent by the Father. Thus we naturally pattern our ministries after Christ's example. But distinctively Christian service involves the Spirit as well, just as Jesus himself accomplished his ministry in the power of the Spirit. Thus the whole Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--gives shape to truly authentic Christian ministry.Though as Christians we all affirm the doctrine of the Trinity, many of us might struggle to explain how understanding the Trinity could actually shape our ministry. Stephen Seamands demonstrates how a fully orbed theology of the Trinity transforms our perception and practice of vocational ministry. Theological concepts like relationality and perichoresis have direct relevance to pastoral life and work, especially in unfolding a trinitarian approach to relationships, service and mission. A thoroughly trinitarian outlook provides the fuel for our ministry "ofJesus Christ,tothe Father,throughthe Holy Spirit, on behalf of the church and the world."Essential reading for pastors, parachurch workers, counselors, missionaries, youth ministers and all who are called to any vocation of Christian ministry.
Meet the Author
Stephen Seamands (Ph.D., Drew University) is professor of Christian doctrine at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He also frequently speaks and leads retreats and seminars on such issues as emotional healing and spiritual renewal. His books include Christology and Transition in the Theology of Edwin Lewis (University Press of America, 1987), Holiness of Heart and Life (Abingdon, 1990), A Conversation with Jesus (Victor, 1994), Wounds That Heal (IVP, 2003) and Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service (IVP, 2005).
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This is one of the most encouraging, practical and revolutionary books that I have ever read on Christian service. Seamand brings theology, practical applications and true life examples together to explain how the Trinitarian nature of the Godhead shapes our ministry as Christians. He speaks about ministry needing to be fruitful, and not merely productive; that Jesus' ministry was first of all directed to God and not to the world or the needs of those around Him. The needs of those around Him did not set His agenda; His agenda and direction of ministry that He was to take was set by the Father. Seamand explores Christian ministry being essentially about our joining Christ in His ministry, not His joining us in ours. He speaks about stress and burnout being a direct result of our failure to grasp the basic truth about ministry; ie we are carrying burdens that we were never designed to carry. The Trinitarian relationship brings intimacy, glad surrender, mutual indwelling and a passion for Mission. A wonderful, user friendly, life changing book.