Center Church

Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City
Narrated by: Tom Parks
Length: 22 hrs and 44 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (269 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Many pastors struggle to translate their theological beliefs into fruitful ministry in the places they are called to reach. It’s not enough to simply know what to believe (theology), or on the other hand, how to do ministry (methodology) - they need something in between. They need help thinking about ministry in a culture that no longer believes Christianity is a force for good, let alone the source of ultimate revealed truth in the person of Christ.

This unabridged audiobook, a collection of 12 essays by Timothy Keller, outlines a theological vision for ministry that is organized around three core commitments:

  • Gospel-centered: The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ changes everything, from our hearts to our community to the world. It completely reshapes the content, tone, and strategy of all that we do;
  • City-centered: With a positive approach toward our culture, we learn to affirm that cities are wonderful, strategic, and underserved places for gospel ministry; and
  • Movement-centered: Instead of building our own tribe, we seek the prosperity and peace of our community, as we are led by the Holy Spirit. A theological vision creates a bridge between doctrine and expression, a balance between cultural engagement and countercultural distinctiveness.

Written by a practitioner for practitioners, Center Church will provoke serious reflection, creative adaptation, and decisive action. It can be used by groups or individually and includes questions for discussion and reflection.

©2012 Timothy Keller (P)2012 Zondervan

What listeners say about Center Church

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Wisdom for Urban Churches - Deep, Wide & Practical

Any additional comments?

I am a pastor in New York City and an admirer of Tim Keller's preaching and writing, though I've only attended Redeemer Presbyterian Church a couple of times. This lengthy book reads as a carefully assembled notebook of the accumulated wisdom of Keller (and his team) in building one of the most thriving and paradigmatic churches in New York City today. It shows clearly the depth and clarity of thought and the faith put into practice that is embodied in Keller's work. It rightly rejects the idea that others can simply take over the Redeemer model and replicate it. Rather, Keller leads the reader to think substantively about the many elements that are part of the life of an urban church with a strong center in the Gospel. It ranges widely from the content of preaching and theology, to issues of interaction with secular culture, to diversity in worship styles, and many other topics.
While I think that the book will be most relevant to those who are directly involved in ministry, it will also provide a thoughtful journey through urban church life to anyone who reads it.
Tom Parks does an excellent job reading the book. I highly recommend it.

9 people found this helpful

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Fantastic though I read this kind of book next tim

Loved every minute of what I was learning and how I was being moved, but it was a lot to take in just listening. Its definitely something I would rather read.

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The textbook

This is the Epic textbook on gospel-centered Ministry. I recommend it as a foundational and reference read.

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Very useful book

Everything I've read and listened to by Timothy Keller has been well spoken and useful in practical ways as he gives real life examples of all he teaches. This book is no different.

This is my first listen. I'll be listening with an ear for taking notes this time around.

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Excellent.

This book addressed every element of basic church life. I highly enjoyed the section on the contextualization of the Gospel. I also very much enjoyed his perspectives on how many churches should be planted in our cities.

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Doctrinally sound and practically insightful

This book has the ability to help the person who is doctrinally sound but unable to develop a practically helpful ministry, while at the same time help the person who is a practical genius but lacking in sound doctrinal roots in ministry.

If you are looking to develop your mission, vision, and strategy for church ministry, then look no further, this is the book you need to read. If you are looking to better apply your vision in practical on the ground ways in discipleship curriculums, community groups, etc. then look no further, this is the book for you.

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MUST-READ FOR EVERY PASTOR AND PASTOR-TO-BE

What did you love best about Center Church?

1. Center Church draws us back to what is essential - the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Center Church is practical yet far from giving us a specific method.
3. Center Church speaks to all the different expressions of Evangelicalism and calls for important corrections in all camps.

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Very theologically practical ....i will definitely read it over and over

Timothy Keller has once again brought the gospel to the molecular level ......i am a student in china hoping to see how foreign churches can make an impact in major cities like beijing etc ....and his approach to the city ,culture and community in light of the gospel gave me a lot of practical advice on how to bring turn the kingdoms of this earth into the kingdoms of our GOD .......after thinking of his ideas ....i believe they could even be implemented in a city like beijing where Christianity isnt really held in any regard ......if it could be helpful to me and my city ......i really believe its worth your time as well .....GOD bless

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over done

this book is much too long and in depth. definitely more for a scholar. there are some great parts, but this is a very wordy & intense book. I feel like it could have been more concise or condensed.

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Heady yet helpful

This book is full of biblical insight and challenges to the church. It’s long but everything in it is valuable. The chapters in the audible version do not line up with the printed version, which can be a little confusing when using it as a text book or reference and looking for book marks. I hope they fix that!

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  • Philip Smith
  • 02-09-15

excellent magisterial review

Keller covers a wide range of elements of church theology and growth. He gives plenty of food for thought and a listen/read is well worth while

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-20

Chapter markers in wrong place!

Content great but the chapter markers are in the wrong place which is very annoying!

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  • MR MATTHEW MCHARDY
  • 04-05-20

Important insights for the church

I've been taught good doctrine, and have my experiences and opinions to guide my views on church, but I've never been taught to reflect on where I get these views from, and how to tread the important combinations of Biblical gospel clarity, with accessible but non-compromising Bible teaching, along with Biblical cultural involvement. Formative in my understanding and hopefully practice!