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Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,002 ratings  ·  78 reviews
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 doctri ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by B Books (first published September 5th 2012)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  1,002 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Ruth Hill
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, 2015-reads
I always enjoy books that take Christian themes and look at things in a bit of a unique way. This book does just that. The reader is taken on a journey through how the church was supposed to be biblically, how it has lost its focus over time, and how it can become what God intended. The three authors seamlessly present their perspective, and it is fully backed by Scripture.

This book is divided into two parts, and the first part truly spoke to me. It was relatable and completely spoke to the aver
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: challies-2018
This book had some good food for thought about the modern church. It is probably best suited for those in leadership roles, but I still benefited from it. I listened to an audio version but think I would have done better with a print copy.
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What perspective. A wonderful book.
Cory Atkinson
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Unfortunately Creature of the Word fell prey to the classic Christian-Book-Curse. What is this curse you ask? It’s a curse that causes Christian writers to type way too aggressively, resulting in a book that’s about 50 pages too long. Additionally this book felt more geared towards those freshly entertaining the gospel-centered church movement, as opposed to those already steeped in the convo and looking for more to consume. However, there were a handful of golden nuggets throughout that made th ...more
Carrie Daws
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely a good read for those who lead in church or ministry. The authors do a great job of turning readers to the critical view that if everything in and of the church isn't about Jesus, we're wasting our time and efforts. They cover various aspects of the church, from services to programs to administration, and include excellent questions and tips to consider as ministry and church leaders consider the impact they are having versus the impact they want (or should want) to have. While it was ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Readable and necessary for church leaders to grow in shared vision. As a church member, I also found it valuable and echoing what I'm asking God to do in women's ministry.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book on the nature of the church: who the church is and what the church does. The three authors are addicted to the gospel of Jesus Christ believing that everything the church is about must be rooted in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The insights the authors give on the subject are refreshing as I believe they are lost on many churches today. They show how every aspect of church life can be based on the gospel. They even outline how the children ministry must be ...more
Tyler Clarensau
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This might be the best book I've ever read on how to be a Biblical church. If you were to read only the Bible and this book, you would get a fairly balanced overview of what the Church should look like and how it should operate. I'm surprised at how many topics are covered well in such an easy read. You can tell that Chandler, Patterson, and Geiger are not just throwing out ideals, but telling the story that their local churches are living out. This is a book that every church leader should get ...more
Matthew Shedd
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for pastors, elders, and deacons alike. Chandler does an excellent job of reminding his fellow leaders that even the right actions, if not rooted in and formed by the gospel will find themselves faltering to produce true life change.
Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I actually was only expected to read the first five chapters of this book. I tried to read more, but the rest didn't seem very relevant to me and I have lots of other things to read! So I only read part of it.
Joshua Woodlief
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anyone planting a gospel centered church should read this book!!! It was an amazing help to me in terms of seeing how the gospel relates to every aspect of church!
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Best thought, which is in essence the theme of the book: "The church does not create the gospel; the gospel creates the church."
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, audible
This book is intended for those in leadership positions in their local church. I am not in leadership in my local church, but read it anyway and found it to be a good book despite being written for a different audience. As a person not in leadership, I found the book interesting because it is an explanation of what the leadership in church should be doing (or are burdened with doing), an explanation of what one should expect of a church, and explanation of theology relevant to the topics discuss ...more
Laney Mills
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Community is only as strong as what it’s built upon. And nothing is as strong as the gospel.”

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book... and in a way, it sums up the book beautifully. This book was very simple, and could have seemed repetitive in some ways. It reiterated a lot of truths that I’ve heard expounded upon on in many other books I’ve read recently. However, it didn’t get old because it repeatedly came back to the what we all need to hear again and again: the gospel. Regardles
Elizabeth Kueng
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has some wonderful content that makes you want to keep a highlighter handy while you read. The content in itself deserves a 5, but the style of writing is what made me come to the conclusion of an overall 4 star rating. The style of writing can be lofty at times and seems to be geared towards those with a seminary degree or in a pastoral position rather than an average believer reader. This made a large section of the book pretty dry and hard to get through, but certain chapters were p ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a really wonderful, helpful, and insightful book. Highlighting the idea that the Gospel should be present in all aspects of a Christian life, it really forced me to wonder how the Gospel is present in my own life.
I read this book to learn more about the music ministry, but it ended up teaching me about every aspect of ministry. I'll definitely be rereading this one at some point in the future!
Judah Cofer
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church
This was an amazing book! I'd recommend this book literally to anybody to both church leaders as well as any Christian who wants to understand and love the church like Jesus does! Nice job the the authors!
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

Though written with ministry leaders in mind this is a great book for any church member. It talks about keeping Jesus Christ the focus of our ministry, and not getting side tracked by other things, that while good things, are not the gospel.
Steve Johnson
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Not enough Chandler. The collaborative nature of this book/discussion led to an uneven presentation of warmed over content that comes across as samples where a meal should have been served instead. We used it as a group study at our church but it’s better utilized for elder or staff meetings.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good solid book

Great insight to the supremacy of the gospel in ministry. In these pages is a call to be most concerned with becoming a church that is sold out to the gospel above all.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Decent book, good stuff, not really a page turner... kind of felt a bit repetitive at times.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite from Chandler. Chapter after chapter of practical and challenging meat for the layman and the pastorate.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Solid content, but honestly a book that has been done many times by many people. I wasn’t sure of the intended audience of the book at various points.
Emma Wingerd
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Read this for my bible study this semester. It was a great book about how the church is supposed to be, and what Jesus-centrality looks like in all aspects of ministry. It’s aimed more for pastors than the average reader, but it’s still valuable to anyone.
Daunavan Buyer
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Creature of the word is a fantastic book. The authors look in depth at many different aspects of the church culture and ask the question: What does this look like with a focus on gospel centeredness? From children's ministry to Sunday services, to the flower committees, a lot is evaluated and commented on. What I like about this book is two fold.
1) It's not deconstructionist. This book does not see the authors negatively critiquing the church and saying that all Churches are wrong because of ho
Eddie Williams
Jan 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Creature of the Word is a very basic and foundational overview of the church and how it should behave through the lens of Jesus

This one doesn't go very deep, but it does have some valuable information, particularly for new believers or students. Seasoned readers won't find much new here.

I love how the authors continually point to Christ as the answer for everything in the church. And how everything that the church is is birthed out of the idea of Jesus. It's unfortunate that more churches don't
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Matt Chandler certainly addresses a felt need, specifically within the American church, with Creature of the Word. Light is shed on big questions that all pastors have: how can I stay culturally relevant while remaining biblically faithful? How can I contextualize without compromise? I appreciate the way Chandler handled these questions, always pointing us back to Christ and the need for our ultimate affection to be placed on Him. One aspect I enjoyed about reading this book was the wide array o ...more
John Foster
Oct 08, 2012 rated it liked it
This a good one, but maybe not a great one. From a teaching perspective on how the gospel forms a community of Jesus followers and has an impact on others, it is direct and helpful. There were many helpful insights. Things we tend to overlook when we talk about the gospel and being missional, etc. But I found myself skimming instead of entering fully what the authors were presenting, mostly I think because of the lack of story. I wish they'd have used more reality, more stories to not only give ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn't think it was an extraordinary book. It was helpful in a few clarifications it made about how the gospel should influence a few church functions. The most helpful parts of the book for me, as a layperson, were its consistent and clear reminders that all saints are servant-leaders, all are broken because of sin, all are continuously being sanctified, and the chapter (9) on leadership with its reminder that a leader ought to be humble because he or she is replaceable and any wisdom or tale ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
The authors do their best to blend theology and practice, but fall a little too heavily on the theology side. The result is a book that seems more suited to the classroom than the local church. Which is unfortunate, because its really supposed to be for the local church. The illustrations that began each chapter were fantastic. I would have liked to have seen more on how the principles played out at Matt's and Eric's churches. Stories of the principles in practice would have helped the rock soli ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. His sermons are among the topselling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministr

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