Reviews (20) Life

Book Reviews

Body Ministry: The Body of Christ Alive in His Spirit

by Geoff Waugh (2011)

Popular, updated version of his Doctor of Missiology research from Fuller Seminary, including amazing reports of transforming revivals around the world


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An article in Renewal Journal 20: Life


Book Structure

 Part 1:  Body Ministry

 I. Body Ministry                         with                      II. Body Organization
1. Kingdom Authority                 with                     6. Divine Headship
2. Obedient Mission                   with                     7. Body Membership
3. Mutual Ministry                       with                     8. Servant Leadership
4. Spiritual Gifts                          with                     9. Body Life
5. Body Evangelism                   with                   10. Expanding Networks

Part 2:  Ministry Education

11.  Open Education: From narrow to wide
12.  Unlimited Education: From centralized to de-centralized
13.  Continuing Education: From classrooms to life
14.  Adult Education: From pedagogy to self-directed learning
15.  Mutual Education: From competition to co-operation
16.  Theological Education: From closed to open
17.  Contextual Education: From general to specific
18.  Ministry Education: From pre-service to in-service


From the Foreword by Rev Prof Dr James Haire, former Principal of Trinity Theological College, Brisbane, and President of the Uniting Church in Australia:

The church needs to be analyzed in order to prepare itself for mission in the changing situations of societies around the world.   However, these always must remain secondary.   Its primary self-understanding is that the church, the expression of Christianity in the world, is the object of God’s self-giving love and grace for the sake of the world.

In this very helpful and timely book, the Rev Dr Geoff Waugh takes up the implications of these issues and applies them to ministry within and beyond the church, the Body of Christ.   As the framework above indicates, Dr Waugh’s analysis, evaluation and application of the theology of the living Body of Christ inevitably is no less than truly revolutionary, as is his analysis, evaluation and application of the theology of the living Spirit’s work.

Dr Waugh has had a long and distinguished mission career, especially in education, in addressing the central Christian issues outlined above.   It has been my honour and my privilege to have served alongside him for eight years (1987–1994) in Trinity Theological College, in the Brisbane College of Theology, and in the School of Theology of Griffith University, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.   He has been a dear and valued friend, and especially one who day-by-day in his life has lived out what he taught.   Moreover, he has had vast experience in his long teaching ministry, not only in Australia, but throughout the South Pacific, Asia, and in Africa.

His work is thus very important reading indeed for us all.

From Rev Dr Colin Warren (former Principal of Alcorn College, Brisbane):

I acknowledge that Geoff has had a very big impact on my life, both by the witness of his own life and by the quality of his teaching.  I pray that you and your church will be greatly blessed as you read and put into practice these basic biblical principles to reach and bless the people who are searching for the living Christ but often do not know what it is they are searching for.

Geoff and I have worked with students and on mission enterprises together over many years.  His writing has come from years of practical experience and a vast amount of prayerful study.  He has pioneered a work the results of which only eternity will reveal.  He has never sought recognition for his tireless and faithful service in honouring the Lord, in continuing to teach and to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.  He writes out of varied experiences.

He was the inaugural Principal of the Baptist Bible College in Papua New Guinea (1965-1970).  He has taught at Alcorn College and Trinity Theological College (1977-1994) and at Christian Heritage College School of Ministries (from 1995).  He is the author of many books, mostly in Christian Education, but also on Renewal and Revival.  ”Geoff Waugh” on lists some of these books.

It is important to note that in this important work, Geoff explores the ministry of the whole body of Christ when Holy Spirit gifts are recognized and are encouraged to be exercised.  Then the artificial division between clergy and laity or pastor and non-pastor is removed.  At the same time, there is the recognition of Holy Spirit endowed leadership gifting such as that between Paul and Timothy.  This means that Kingdom authority is expressed through Divine headship.  His emphasis on body ministry thus becomes a reality.

Geoff illustrates this clearly with his Case study Number 2 on page 34. There the church no longer consists of passive pew sitters but participants in fulfilling the command of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach repentance, heal the sick and cast out demon spirits, having the certain knowledge that He is with them as He promised “to the end of the age”.

Geoff points out that if the church is to live and grow in today’s world, it must recognize the need to emphasize relationships and adapt to change. This change will include such simple things as the way men and women both old and young dress, and allow others the freedom to dress differently as they attend places of worship in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

There is, too, the need to realize the reality that many are affected by a global sense of fear of nuclear destruction and of accelerated and constant change and uncertainty.  The church can provide an atmosphere of security through rediscovering the unchanging gospel in a changing world.

Denominations that once were able to be exclusive and hold their numbers in rigid theological disciplines, have been invaded via cassettes, CD’s, DVD’s, and the internet that have widened the thinking horizons of their often theologically bound members, resulting in communication at spiritual levels not possible previously.

Geoff points out that if we are going to fulfil the Great Commission, we must first live the life of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is only then that we can do the work of fulfilling Christ’s command to go.

I commend Body Ministry for you to read.  All Christians will benefit greatly from reading this insightful book.

From Rev Dr Lewis Born, former Moderator of the Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia and Director of the Department of Christian Education.

Body Ministry and Open Ministry Education come in its right time for adult education, gospel communication, and the growth of the church.

Open Education promises to become the most commonly used adult educational methodology of the new millennium.  The demand is likely to increase.  This indicates that the work of Geoff Waugh is a significant contribution to the current educational enterprise.  It is particularly valuable to Christian Educators.  The author’s orientation is theological and his target audience is the faith community, its nurture, growth and outreach.

To this point in time the educative process has been inhibited by dependence on structured courses, the classroom and qualified teachers.  Accelerated technology, as Mr Waugh observes, has made modern resources commonly available to individuals, churches and schools in every village community.  By this medium Open Education for the first time in history is able to offer high-quality education from the world’s best teachers to people in their own lounge, church, or local group meeting place.

All this coinciding with the renewal movement has stimulated interest in theological learning to an unprecedented degree in the history of Christendom. The incredible numerical religious revival in the illiterate Asian and Latin church has been stimulated and served by modern technology.

This gives Open Ministry Education and therefore Mr Waugh’s work a global relevance, which he has applied in the Australian context.

As a fellow Australian, I am appreciative.  My appreciation is greatly enhanced by a deep respect and affection for the author.  He is a competent teacher, an excellent communicator, an informed, disciplined renewalist and an experienced extension educator.

All these qualities combine to commend the author and his work.

Sample from the book:

Case study 1: traditional ministry

Peter was deeply committed to his calling to the ministry, ably supported by his wife, Petrina.  His many talents found full expression in his ministry: preaching, teaching (including school Religious Education), counselling, visiting, chairing committees, leading meetings, representing the church on denominational boards and in civic functions, administering church activities, interviewing people for baptisms, church membership and weddings, conducting weddings and funerals, and fitting in a bit of study when he could as well as attending seminars for church leaders.

The phone rang constantly, especially at breakfast or dinner when people hoped they could catch him before he was off again.  He wished he had more time for his family, and knew that the strain was showing in family relationships and in his own reaction to stress, inevitable with the constant demands of the ministry.  He wished he could find time for waiting on God and quiet reflection as well as study, but there was so much to do.  His work was less than his best, because he had so little time to pray, wait in God, and prepare well, and because the constant demand of meeting people’s needs saps energy and consumes time.

Case study 2: body ministry.

Paul and Pauline were both deeply committed to their ministry. They recognized that they had different gifts and calling within that ministry.  They also believed strongly in the need for all Christians to minister in the power of the Spirit.  They prayed regularly with people about this and saw their prayers answered.  The members of their church asked for, expected, and used spiritual gifts.  Church members prayed together for one another and for others.   Most of the pastoral care and outreach happened in the home groups.  Paul met with home group leaders one night each week, and enjoyed that.  Mary met regularly with the leaders of women’s day time groups, social caring groups and the music team in the church.

Paul usually preached once on Sundays, and the home groups, study groups and youth groups used the summary of the message.  He encouraged gifted preachers in the church who also preached.  Church members did most of the teaching (including all the school work) and those gifted with administration organized it all, usually part time with one specific area of responsibility they had chosen and loved to do.  A small caring group organized volunteers to visit all the sick people.  A keen task group made sure all visitors were contacted by phone or a personal visit during the week after they came to a service.  The elders insisted that one day each week was family day for the pastor and his family so they encouraged them to spend time away to wait on God and bring their vision and the Lord’s leading clearly in their ministry.


From pages 16-19

Accelerating social change

Alvin Toffler wrote about the Third Wave in sociology.   He could not find a word adequate enough to encompass this current wave we live in, rejecting his own earlier term ‘super-industrial’ as too narrow.  He described civilisation in three waves:  a First Wave agricultural phase, a Second Wave industrial phase, and a Third Wave phase now begun.

He noted that we are the final generation of an old civilisation and the first generation of a new one.  We live between the dying Second Wave civilisation and the emerging Third Wave civilisation that is thundering in to take its place.

Think of church life during those three sociological waves.  Church life changed through the agricultural, then industrial, and now the technological ‘third wave’.

1. Churches for most of 2000 years of the First Wave agricultural phase were the village church with the village priest (taught in a monastery) teaching the Bible to mostly illiterate people, using Latin (and Greek and Hebrew) parchments copied by hand for 1500 years.  Worship involved chants without books or music.  These churches reflected rural life, with feudal lords and peasants.

2. Churches in 500 years of the Second Wave industrial phase (co-existing with the First Wave) became denominational with many different churches in the towns as new denominations emerged.  Generations of families belonged there all their life and read the printed Authorised (1511) version of the Bible.  They have been taught by ministers trained in denominational theological colleges.  Worship has involved organs used with hymns and hymn books.  These churches reflected industrial town life, with bureaucracies such as denominations.

3. Churches in 50 years of the Third Wave technological phase (co-existing with the Second Wave industrial phase in towns and cities and the First Wave agricultural phase in villages and developing nations) are becoming networks of churches and movements, among which people move freely.  They tend to be led by charismatic, anointed, gifted, apostolic servant-leaders, usually trained on the job through local mentoring often using part time courses in distance education.  Their people have a wide range of Bible translations and use Bible tools in print, on CDs and on the internet.  Worship involves ministry teams using instruments with data projection for songs and choruses.  These churches reflect third wave technological city life.

Many churches, of course, live in the swirling mix of these phases, especially now with the Second Wave receding and the Third Wave swelling.  For example, some denominational churches, especially those involved in renewal, may have a gifted ‘lay’ senior pastor not trained in a theological college or seminary.  Some denominational churches function like independent churches in their leadership and worship styles.  Some new independent churches have theologically trained pastors with doctoral degrees in ministry.

These changes have become increasingly obvious in the last 50 years.  Many of us became involved in renewal and revival ministries both in denominational churches and in independent networks and movements.

I give many examples of those developments in my autobiographical reflections, Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival (2009), and in my accounts of revivals in Flashpoints of Revival (2009) and South Pacific Revivals (2010).

These books on renewal and revival are one small example of rapid change.  They describe the swirling changes renewal and revival bring as they recapture New Testament Christianity in our day and 21st century context.

Even more!   Telling the story has changed.  You can read about it right now on a Google search and on many web pages such as

Furthermore, this book is updated regularly also – for free with Amazon’s Print on Demand (POD).  Check out the “Look inside” feature in a year’s time and you may see more changes.  No longer do we need to spend thousands of dollars to stock pile resources, when we can freely update and adapt them.

We live and minister in this revolutionary ‘post-modern’ era, full of freeing possibilities and challenges.

Subsistence villagers still think and act in a First Wave mode, rural townspeople tend to think and act in a Second Wave mode, and urban people in megacities usually think and act in a Third Wave mode.

The norms of the Second Wave Industrial Society still influence us all strongly.  We are familiar with the organizational society of the town and its bureaucracies, especially the religious and educational ones.  We organized the church around denominational bureaucracies.

However, the Third Wave megatrend swirling around us now involves adapting to different and smaller social groupings, more transient and diverse than ever before.  Denominations continue to exist, of course, but now mix with many flexible, changing structures, such as networks of small groups or house churches and national or global networks for prayer and mobilising action together through websites and emails.

We have a mixture of both Second Wave people and Third Wave people in local churches.  Second Wave people tend to emphasize institutional roles and responsibilities.  Third Wave people tend to emphasize relationships and adaptation to change – as in renewal and revival.

Read current examples from this book (pages 76-82) in Geoff’s article in this Renewal JournalCommunity Transformation



Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

by Geoff Waugh (2009)

Autobiographical discoveries of renewal and revival by this Australian Baptist minister and missionary.


Preface:  thanks
Introduction:  Waugh stories
1. Beginnings:  state of origin
2. Schools:  green board jungle
3. Ministry:  to lead is to serve
4. Mission:  trails and trials
5. Family:  Waughs and rumours of Waughs
6. Search and Research:  begin with A B C
7. Renewal:  begin with doh rey me
8. Revival:  begin with 1 2 3
Conclusion:  begin with you and me

This book traces the author’s journey through a lifetime of discovering renewal and revival. He explores the transforming and unpredictable nature of God’s Spirit now touching and changing people in all denominations and in all countries. The book will interest people who love to read about renewal in the church and revival in the world. The author’s other books such as Flashpoints of Revival, Revival Fires and Revival in the South Pacific give fuller and more general descriptions of God’s transforming work around the world. This autobiography gives a personal account of the author’s experience of renewal and revival in Australia, the South Pacific, and in other nations. “Looking to Jesus” points continually to Jesus, the One who renews and revives us by his Spirit within us and who is so powerfully at work in the whole world.

By Rev Dr John Olley, former Principal of Vose College, Perth.

Invitation to a Journey
Geoff Waugh’s life and ministry have influenced people all around the world. This autobiography with reflections will be of interest not only to those who know him. Beginning in Australia, then Papua New Guinea, his invited ministry in renewal and revival has involved every continent. While he has written “Flashpoints of Revival” (recently updated) recounting revivals in the past three hundred years around the world and many books of bible studies this book “Looking to Jesus” has a different focus, as Geoff traces his journey from strong roots which remained the solid core of his life from childhood to marriage to retirement. Here is a personal journey with reflections that will enrich the lives of all readers. As he ?looked to Jesus? along the way he was opened up to many exciting new ventures in Australia and into countries where revival and renewal is vibrant, changing many lives. Although a biography, many others are involved. Geoff?s journey is like a rose bush with strong roots and branches. He is one bud of many, opening into a beautiful bloom as he opened himself to God?s leading into an exciting journey. A bonus is an appendix with outlines of his other works.

By Romulo Nayacalevu, Pastor and Lawyer. Fiji 
Faith journey
Dr Waugh’s account in “Looking to Jesus” demonstrates his passion and servanthood life, displayed in his calling from the pulpit to the mountains and valleys of the Pacific and beyond.  His passion, zeal and commitment to the Gospel makes Him a true missionary to places where we wouldnt dare.  I would recommend this book to all, the story of a man who is truly sold out to His King and Master – the Lord Jesus Christ.  Dr. Waugh’s personal journey and convictions is a testimony to people like me who are trying to be available to God’s call.  Dr Waugh remains a mentor and a friend and “Looking to Jesus” is the simplest way of describing Dr. Waugh’s faith journey.  His testimony will challenge us all about our priorities and the true meaning of Obedience. A strongly recommended read.

By Jo,  Pastor and college graduate

Essential reading

I have been blessed to be a student of Geoff Waughs in the COC Bible College in Brisbane. This book was such a blessing. It showed how God has been such a huge part of Geoffs life, since he was a young boy. It was really inspiring to read the book and to realise all the amazing things God has done through Geoff, that he is not just a teacher on revivals, he is really someone who lives it! I highly reccommend this book. We need more fathers in the faith who have walked with Jesus for so long and who have seen real moves of the Holy Spirit to share with us and encourage us like Geoff does in this book.This is not just a biography, it is a book that will teach and inspire you in your walk with God.


By Daphne Beattie

Insightful, inspirational, informative
An interesting survey of 70 years from his early life as the son of an evangelical minister, to becoming a minister and missionary and a leader in renewal and revival through his teaching in Australia and overseas.  Revival – stirs both curiosity,excitement and anticipation in God’s people. Geoff shares his personal journey with humour and life flowing out of it, always directing us to follow Jesus’ example alone.  I strongly recommend this book and found it easy to read but at the same time it stirred up a deep longing in my heart to reach a more intimate relationship with God.  Thank you Geoff

©  Renewal Journal #20: Life (2007, 2012)
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.

Renewal Journals – contents of all issues

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Amazon –  Renewal Journal 20: Life
Amazon – all journals and books – Look inside

All Renewal Journal Topics

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,   3 Community,   4 Healing,   5 Signs & Wonders,
6  Worship,   7  Blessing,   8  Awakening,   9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   13  Ministry,   14  Anointing,   15  Wineskins,
16  Vision,
   17  Unity,   18  Servant Leadership,   19  Church,   20 Life
Also: 24/7 Worship & Prayer

Contents:  Renewal Journal 20: Life

Life, death and choice, by Ann Crawford

The God who dies: Exploring themes of life and death, by Irene Alexander

Primordial events in theology and science support a life/death ethic, by Martin Rice

Community Transformation, by Geoff Waugh

Book Reviews:
Body Ministry
and Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival, by Geoff Waugh

Renewal Journal 20: Life – PDF

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals










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An article in Renewal Journal 20: Life

See also: Community Transformation, by Geoff Waugh:
Renewal Journal 19: Church

Also in Renewal Journals Vol 4: Issues 16-20
Renewal Journal Vol 4 (16-20) – PDF




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