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Praise for Flourishing Churches and Communities

In his book, Flourishing Churches and Communities, Dr. Charlie Self reminds all believers, everywhere that the Holy Spirit is at the center of all we do in and outside the walls of the church. Dr. Self asserts that our modern-day call to ministry is “… a primer on discipleship that connects faith, work, and economics within a . . .  framework of Spirit-empowered living." The genius of this premise is the implication that the Holy Spirit could be as active and relevant in the workplace and the home as He is within the walls of the Pentecostal church. Dr. Self inspires ministry leaders and believers everywhere to apply Spirit-filled living to every aspect of life, joining sacred and secular to access the Holy Spirit's power. As a Pentecostal church leader, I found refreshing the exhortations in Dr. Self’s book to apply Spirit-living to all work places. The principles espoused in Flourishing Churches and Communities will transform the workplace, the church, and the world.

Shane Schlesman
Family Life Pastor
West End Assembly of God
Richmond, Virginia

"This book is designed to empower Pentecostal leaders to equip the saints for a holistic life of discipleship. It does that well. Self has now laid the groundwork from which future Pentecostals can draw upon the theological resources of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, healing, and the imminent return of Christ to write a distinctively Pentecostal theology of vocation."

Jeremiah Gibbs
Director of the Lantz Center for Christian Vocation
University of Indianapolis

"I have known Dr. Charlie Self for more than twenty years. I first met him as a student and he was my professor. Years later, in a season of transition he was my pastor and mentor. Today, I simply call him friend. Dr. Self's theology is informed by his passionate study of God's Word, his sharp intellect, and his willingness to hear from God. I'm excited about Dr. Self's endeavor in writing because I know that the result will be insightful and reveal his anointed intellect and that he hears from God. I look forward to the great things God has for him as they relate to the Kingdom of God."

Roger Ovalle
District Superintendent
Northern Pacific Latin American District of the Assemblies of God

“Charlie Self sees the frequent disconnect between a church leader’s understanding of mission and the real-life opportunities the people he leads can encounter every day. Tragically, the potential for remarkable impact goes unrealized when Christian living is defined primarily within the walls of the local congregation. God’s true intent is to give life and help us discover how that life can demonstrate His greatest glory. In Flourishing Churches and Communities, Charlie Self builds a solid foundation for such thinking and shapes a path toward pursuing the maximum impact such a focus can offer. This theme isn’t going to go away, but is becoming the new and critical language of the local church’s future.”

Mike Clarensau
Senior Director
Healthy Church Network

"In Flourishing Churches and Communities, Charlie Self reconnects the life of the Church, the discipleship of believers, and the human work God entrusts to his followers. Self views compassionate enterprise and wealth creation through the lens of Spirit-empowered morality that is based on God's character of love, goodness, and justice. He puts forth five principles that espouse human work as the blessing of God's ongoing engagement with humanity and the Church's calling to be Christ's body. The author invites us to consider our place in the world as those entrusted by God with sacred tasks, encased in human work. This book is valuable for its insights on mutuality between genders, purposeful and deliberate workmanship no matter what the job, and its call to endurance through opportunities and challenges."

Rosemarie Daher Kowalski
Minister and speaker

"Dr. Charlie Self makes a founded point that a biblical worldview, empowered by the Spirit, will foster whole-life discipleship that will create, refine, and sustain free-market economics within an ethos of stewardship and the fulfillment of the Great Commission. He leads the reader to discover the heart of Pentecostal identity as the present reality of the work of the Holy Spirit, who empowers all believers for gospel service."

Svetlana Papazov
Executive Pastor
Our Father's House AG Church

"Dr. Charlie Self's vision for integrating the economic and spiritual connectedness of Christian believers into their local society is both critical and timely. As a senior systems developer in Silicon Valley, I have found first-hand how the cultural gap between local believers and the tech community often renders the church to be nearly invisible. This book is a must read for the Christian leader who wants their ministry to gain relevance and needful visibility in a society whose competitive pace and survival mentality threatens to entirely blot traditional 'church-as-culture' from their purview."

Dave Devries
Engineer, enterpreneur, and veteran Silicon Valley developer

"Dr. Self does a masterful job in explaining the role of economics and work within Church communities. The integration of faith and work should come naturally to all believers. This book will enable Christians to do just that.”

Gary Blackard
SBU Client Operations Vice President
Hi-Tech/Communications Industry

"With a liberating approach, Charlie Self presents an insightful and compelling model for holistic discipleship based on five distinct principles. His refreshing articulation of the life transforming potential of believers to execute “God’s economy” with individual, community, and global impact is revolutionary. For many a comprehensive worldview that integrates one's spirituality on Sunday with the rest of the work week is distorted. Flourishing Churches and Communities will energize your heart, inspiring a brand new purpose for embracing each day with zeal and a clear vision."

Ava Oleson
Doctor of Ministry Program Coordinator, Adjunct Professor
Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

"Flourishing Churches and Communities brings the power of "everyday" work to the forefront as the medium intended to show God's love and power. While pastors and church leaders seem to continually look for the perfect equation to church growth, Dr. Charles Self explores the possibility of integrating faith, work and economics creating church and community growth. This is a book for the 21st century leader who desires to start a new, daring and bold adventure."

Samuel M. Huddleston
Assistant District Superintendent
Assemblies of God Northern CA/NV

“Finally, a thoroughly Pentecostal consideration of how the heart, head, and hands can be mobilized by the Holy Spirit to empower vocational witness to the gospel to the ends of the earth. Inspiring testimonials work in tandem with the brilliant synoptic overview of the salvation history message from Genesis through Revelation to show how our faith, work, and economic lives can be of Spirit-inspired service to the coming reign of God!”

Amos Yong
Dean and J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology
Regent University School of Divinity

“Dr. Self offers a clear witness to theological reflection that portrays the Pentecostal tradition in light of twenty-first-century realities. This volume clearly affirms that the empowerment of the Spirit, focusing on the continuing  redemptive mission of Jesus Christ, also can infuse our communities to prosper when we acknowledge Christ’s kingdom rule over all of creation.”

Byron D. Klaus
President
Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

"There are very few men who combine the highest level of Biblical teaching and study with powerful Holy Spirit ministry, humble servant hood and overflowing love for people and community. Along with congregations across the country, Dr. Self is a trusted Kingdom teacher and model to our congregation of the Spirit-filled life and mission.  In all of his ministry and in this book, Dr. Self brings clarity and deeper understanding to the simplicity, practicality and beauty of what the church can truly be to the world around it."

Shawn Franco
Lead Pastor
Cornerstone Assembly of God Church

"My colleague, Charlie Self, has demonstrated his giftings again in this book. Integrating theology with the daily life realities of economics for the purpose of discipleship is close to the heart of his calling. My specialty is the Old Testament and I found his overview of the Old Testament foundation for this integration to be excellent. Charlie gets right to the key principles and concepts, and I agree with his understanding of these. He has a wonderful grasp of the big picture and articulately presents it. At times I wished I had written what he wrote. This book makes a significant biblical theological contribution to the discussion."

Roger Cotton
professor of Old Testament
Assemblies Of God Theological Seminary

"This engagingly written and irenic work encourages us to integrate the entire sphere of life under Jesus's Lordship and for God's glory. Some of us struggle with backgrounds in which only a narrow range of activities count as "spiritual" and the rest of life appears devoid of God's presence, but Self shows how a wide range of life, work and thought should honor God, as in Colossians 3:23."

Craig Keener
professor of New Testament
Asbury Theological Seminary

"Dear friend, every church needs to use this book in equipping their leaders and their congregations. The wisdom in this book can help God's people look for the frequency of faith that will affect their world of work and see miracles happen, especially at this time when so many people are looking for jobs."

Jack Reeves
retired educational administrator and a lay leader

"I have known Charlie Self for twenty years. The truths he shares in this primer reflect a long and honest journey of making faith relevant and vibrant in all arenas of life. This book begins to remove bricks from the unacceptable walls we have not only erected but institutionalized between work and worship, business and ministry, clergy and laity, pulpit and marketplace."

Brett Johnson
Author (Convergence, LEMON Leadership, Transforming Society, Repurposing Capital, Cycles: A journey to Purpose, I-Operations)
President, The Institute for Innovation, Integration & Impact, Inc.

“Pentecostals are proven entrepreneurs. Their dedicated, creative efforts to share timeless biblical truth have resulted in one of the broadest expansions of Christianity in history. Charlie Self, in Flourishing Churches and Communities, helps Pentecostals to carefully reflect about the biblical foundation of the worldview they have been living out for over a century.”

Darrin J. Rodgers, M.A., J.D.
Director
Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

“Secular humanists seem determined to confine Christianity to a church building—inside four walls.  They are uncomfortable when Christianity spills into the marketplace and becomes a cultural architect, affecting the design and activity of social, educational, and political institutions.  Dr. Self affirms the necessity of integrating the ‘lifestyle of Christ’ into every aspect of life.  There is no dichotomy between evangelism and discipleship, ministry and work, economic transformation and faith, grace and justice.  This book is a must-read.  If the principles taught in it are practiced, the body of Christ will become the force God created it to be.”

Alton Garrison
Assistant General Superintendent
General Council of the Assemblies of God

"Charlie Self has a pointed yet gentle way of explaining the biblical and historical basis for the interconnectivity of faith, works and economics in the process of Spirit-empowered discipleship. He aptly portrays the reality that everything about who we are and what we do matters to God, to the people around us and to the world at large. Every follower of Jesus should read this book!"

Alaine Thomson Buchanan
Ph.D. candidate, ordained minister, university professor

“The integration of faith, life and vocation as Christ followers is the whole-life discipleship challenge of the 21st century. Dr. Charlie Self personally embodies the essence of that call. He is both scholar and pastor, theologian and practitioner, thinker and activist. His vision of the role of the Spirit and the church working together to grow disciples past the unbiblical dichotomy between the spiritual and the secular is compelling and needed. I highly recommend this work to you.”

Dr. James Bradford
Secretary-Treasurer
General Council of the Assemblies of God, USA

"Charlie Self is an encourager of the church who contributes distinctive insights with a distinguished character. His voice is a thoughtful addition to the dialogue for building authentic Christian community."

Cherith Fee Nordling
Associate Professor of Theology
Northern Seminary

"Dr. Self has the mind of a scholar, the heart of a pastor, and the voice of a prophet.  Flourishing Churches and Communities is a holistic vision of the kind of seven-days-a-week discipleship our churches, communities, and corporations are dying to experience.  This is an excellent blueprint for how the Holy Spirit is preparing to revitalize our people, relationships, and systems.  Don't miss out on what God is about to do!"

Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D.
Product Manager
Silicon Valley corporation

"Dr. Charles Self has created a well-conceived primer for anyone interested in helping a local congregation and the community in which it resides flourish in its health and prosperity. This book provides a well-rounded and theologically grounded understanding of how faith AND work conspire to transform lives and communities."

Randy C. Walls, D.Min.
Director of Continuing Education
Assemblies of God Theological Seminary