I Am Persuaded
“This stuff is pure gold! It is potential dynamite to the status quo of church as we know it—exactly the church as we know it that Brenneman urges us to consider “letting go” of in order to follow Jesus into Church as God desires it.”
Brian Hogan-YWAM Church Planting Coach and Author “There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub”
Friends kept prodding me to write this book because of the need for a look at the other side of the coin on popular issues like “authority”, “submission”, “spiritual covering”, and “spiritual fathers”. This is a thoroughly scriptural presentation on these issues. It explains the results of my study of every single scripture and key word usage in the New Testament relating to these issues, and also includes stories of real modern-day apostles and leaders.
Endorsed by influential leaders and church planters, this book will both challenge and encourage you. I believe that this scriptural presentation of a non-hierarchical paradigm for Christian leadership will answer many questions and help to clear up the confusion that so often surrounds these issues.
Jonathan Brenneman in his I Am Persuaded provokes, jabs and challenges our sacred cows of church leadership. Yet, the jabs are not hurtful because they come from Scripture. This is not a reactionary book filled with leader bashing but a graceful and excellent presentation of mostly forgotten principles concerning how Jesus and the early church taught and practiced leadership.
All the key and at times controversial words are discussed: rule, obey, submission, apostles, authority, and spiritual covering. Excellent exegesis on these words is provided and is foundational to the author’s conclusions. If you find yourself disagreeing, then, by all means, do a better exegesis. I think that will be difficult. Jonathan Brenneman has personally made a paradigm shift in his life and shares it with us. Will you?
I Am Persuaded is more than a fine Bible study, it is filled with real life stories which illustrate servant leadership. It is well written, fast paced, and provokes fresh thinking. I believe the reader and the church will be healthier when these principles are put into practice. Will you be persuaded? Will you undergo a paradigm shift? Read and find out. This is a good book and its message needs to be heard.
STAN NEWTON—Missionary in Bulgaria;
Author: Glorious Kingdom.
Those who have spent any time in “organized” Christianity in the West have experienced what Jonathan brings to light: there is a weird and uncomfortable mixing of the teaching of Jesus and the religion people make up about Jesus. Jonathan puts his finger on the most lethal part of that concoction: hierarchy, the rule of the priests/pastors. Jonathan engages in a close reading of Scripture as well as a thoughtful reflection on his experience and role models to refocus us on the centrality of Jesus as our boss and owner. He moreover brings attention to the importance of our loving (and not controlling) relationships with one another as brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.
There is a lot to take in here, but I am left with three urges after reading Jonathan’s soulful writing: (1) To remember I am your servant, but you are not my master. Jesus is. (2) To keep finding the Spirit’s liberation as we know the truth from a close reading of scripture. (3) To keep going in obedience to Christ, regardless of the approval of people in positions and organizations. I commend this heartfelt reflection of a devoted follower of Jesus to you.
BRIAN J. DODD—Orlando, Florida. Pastor, 25 years;
Ph. D., University of Sheffield, England, New Testament Studies;
Former Professor: Fuller Theological Seminary,
Asbury Theological Seminary;
Author: Praying Jesus, Where Christology Began, The Problem with Paul, Paul’s Paradigmatic ‘I’: Personal Example as Literary Strategy,
Empowered Church Leadership: Ministry in the Spirit According to Paul.