Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Effective Edge – How Christians Today Can Accomplish the Lord’s Work, Gregory A. Tidwell

The Effective Edge – How Christians Today Can Accomplish the Lord’s Work, Gregory A. Tidwell

This is the first book by the new Editor of the Gospel Advocate, Gregory Alan Tidwell and is titled The Effective Edge – How Christians Today Can Accomplish the Lord’s Work.  I had the pleasure of hosting brother Tidwell at our Area Men’s Meetings here in Wadsworth.  (These meetings are primarily for preachers and elders but all are invited to attend.)  I was excited to have the new Editor for a publication that many of us have long admired; especially since he lives in Ohio, no offense intended. 

At this meeting, Greg had just received the shipment of his new book, published by Gospel Advocate Company, and I was able to obtain a signed copy from him. 

Different people like different books for different reasons.  Sometimes people are busy and do not have the time to read a more lengthy composition but still want a fresh reminder on the skills they need to be successful.  And what is more important to be successful at than the Lord’s work?  That is, we should desire to be successful at the Lord’s work.  Could it be that many of us pay mere lip service to such a notion?  It may be a painful thought but one we ought to give thought to—if we cannot find the time to do the Lord’s work now, then can we honestly expect the Lord to find time for us in eternity?  We may expect such, but there is such a thing as unrealistic expectations.  Recall these sobering words from Jesus--“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”  (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV.)   

I appreciate these words from the book and tried to reflect on them as I read through it trying to keep an open mind--“Effectiveness is in short supply.  In the church, as in government and business, the lack of effectiveness hinders our success and limits the good we can accomplish.  Often, when faced with failure, we seek an easy scapegoat rather than deal with the hard task of owning up to problems in our thoughts and actions.  We imagine if only we had more resources, knew the latest methods, or were free from certain obstacles, then we would succeed.  Blaming circumstances, however, misses the mark.  We must look deeper.  We must look at ourselves and, with honesty face our own failures. (page 11.)

The book is concise so a person who is unable to devote large blocks of time can easily work through the excellent material in this book.  Through the book, Tidwell takes on a discussion of effectiveness in various areas of our Christian vocation:  leadership, example-setting, goal-setting, stewardship, planning, standards, fellowship, communication, discipleship, representation, guidance and service.  Quite easily, each of these chapters could be converted into books, but effort has been made to be concise, in an effective way.  As the words of Shakespeare in Hamlet state “Brevity is the soul of wit,”  Greg Tidwell’s book is concise and in an effective way!  The book is designed to be also used in Adult Bible Class format with questions for discussion.  Perhaps this book will provide an excellent teacher the means by which we can all learn to be more effective in our work for the Lord.

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