Book Review – Among The Reapers
A several months ago, I was privileged to join a Facebook group called Church Planters – UPCI. While I have not posted there often, as I am currently not a church planter, I have been blessed and encouraged by these great men and women sharing their stories and encouraging each other (and me in the process). Many times on this group, certain topics that are germane to all church planters, and potential church planters would pop up for discussion. In these discussions great insight and a wide range of results and opinions would be shared.
Once of the group had gotten to a certain point, Bro Carlton Coon, North American Missions Director, asked for someone to spearhead a project which would be a ‘labor of love.’ This project would be to take all of the key topics that had been discussed over the tenure of the group and put it into a readable book format. Pastor Lee Wells of Rockwall, TX, took up this challenge and the end result is a book titled Among The Reapers.
The print version of this book was released during the 2012 United Pentecostal Church International General Conference, and the Kindle version was available on Amazon a few weeks earlier. As one that was really excited about this project, I purchased the Kindle version on September 24, 2012, and could not put it down.
In my opinion this book offers the best view points to show the many steps of the way and the many different struggles and challenges that can and in many cases will arise. It shows that no two church plants are the same and there is no magical cookie cutter formula to plant a church. This book is a collection of insights that will challenge you to either plant a church or at the very least do your best in watering the one you are in now.
As I was reading this amazing book, I took some time to Tweet a lot of quotes from the book and make some personal observations of what I thought about as I read it. One of the first lines that jumped out at me was “There is absolutely no substitute for character.” I wholeheartedly believe that if anyone is going to do anything for God, and they want it to have meaning and last the tests of time, they must be men and women of character and integrity first and foremost. Often times we re-quote the phrase “it is good for Pentecostals to also be Christians,” because of its humorous wit. The sentiment is so true. If we wants to be excited about our Apostolic doctrine, our Pentecost experience and our holiness lifestyle, we should also be Christ-like. As a whole, we cannot have the sense of superiority about us, just because we have a better understand or a closer walk with God. This does not make us better people than the rest of the world, but it should make us better than we were and in many cases are as people.
Another quote that had been beating me over the head ever since I read it is “Ninety percent of finding the will of God is doing what you already know to do.” How many times to we, mature Christians, enter into our place of worship and not pray for that service, or worship with our whole heart or ask God what he would have us give in the offering or even apply the message from God to our lives? If we are honest, we will admit, it is more times than it should be. Honestly, once is far too often, but we are human and I do understand how life’s events can effect us. However it is up to us to do what we know to do, so God can do what He wants to do.
One final quote that I will mention was from Bro Carlton Coon when he states, “One is never ‘not’ a missionary.” This leads me back to our first quote, because if we are ALWAYS a missionary, we must always have character.
This book was a shot in the arm for me and for many others that I have talked to that have read it. Reading it will inspire you to plant a church or at the very least, to do your best watering the church you were planted in. Planters and waterers, working together for the growth of God’s Kingdom.
Well, stop listening to me babble about this great book, go buy it and find out for yourself how much of a blessing it can be.
Until Next time,