Gene A. Getz
By James A. Davies
Gene A. Getz (1932-): A college and seminary professor, writer, and pastor who successfully integrated the philosophy of renewal into a local church setting. He is perhaps best known for his 1974 text, Sharpening the Focus of the Church, which looks at the church through the lenses of Scripture, history, and culture. A popular and prolific author, many of his books focus on developing local church leaders and Christian character. Getz has significant influence across evangelical Christianity.
Early Life, Education and Teaching
Gene A. Getz was born on March 15, 1932 in Francesville, Indiana. His father operated a small farm on the plains. He is the oldest of six children and has three brothers and two sisters. Gene learned the meaning of hard work early in life, helping on the farm along with his other siblings. As is often typical for such a Midwestern upbringing, his parents were members of a church that was very conservative and restrictive in many ways. He graduated from high school in 1949.
At Moody Bible Institute his passion for the church came alive. As a result of the teachings and people he was exposed to, he soon discovered a broader picture of what the church could be like. For Gene, this was an eye-opening experience. During these years Gene also met his future wife Elaine. He received his diploma in 1952 and his Bachelor of Arts in 1954 from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. He married Elaine on June 11, 1956. (Together they have three adult children: Renee, Robyn, and Kenton, and seven grandchildren.) During these initial professional years he held a number of youth and Christian education positions in various camps and church ministries in Montana and Illinois.
In 1955 he was hired as an instructor in Christian Education at Moody. He continued his education at Wheaton College, earning a Master of Arts in Christian Education in 1958. Further influencing his thinking about the church and Christian education during this time were his contacts with Drs. Lois E. and Mary LeBar. They helped reinforce the importance of being grounded in a biblical philosophy which guides the church. In addition to this personal growth, he established the first audio/visual center that existed on a Bible college campus while teaching at Moody Bible Institute. In recognition of his leadership abilities Getz was promoted to the position of Director of the Evening School in 1963. He held that position through 1968. Gene completed his Ph. D. studies at New York University in 1968. The title of his dissertation was “A History of Moody Bible Institute and Its Contributions of Christian Education.”
In 1968 Gene accepted the position of Associate Professor of Christian Education at Dallas Theological Seminary. He joined the department headed by Dr. Howard Hendricks.
The 1960’s was a time of counter-culture revolution in America. Anti-institutional attitudes permeated the thinking of young Americans. Seminary students were no different. Faced with disturbing questions about the viability of the local church, Gene was challenged to take a fresh look at what the New Testament teaches about what God intended the local church to be. Over a period of several years of intense research and interaction with students and faculty, Gene explored, rethought, and reconstructed what the church should be in light of Scripture, history and contemporary culture. The result of this gestation produced a book in 1974. The title was Sharpening the Focus of the Local Church. The book outlined the principles of church renewal. It was destined to impact his life dramatically.
During the writing of Sharpening the Focus, he was challenged by a group of families to start a church based on the principles outlined in the book. In November of 1972 the first Fellowship Bible Church was launched. Its vision was to provide three vital experiences that Christians need in order to grow spiritually: Bible teaching, fellowship, and outreach. The church focused on the principles surrounding those ‘biblical absolutes’ and functions, and on ‘freedom of form and structure’ in allowing for the three needed experiences. The concept caught on quickly. The church grew rapidly and within four years had planted four new churches in the Dallas area. As a result of this growing ministry Gene shifted to Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Ministries in 1974. He continued his part time teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary for almost thirty years. Though his current primary focus involves his pastoral responsibilities, he teaches periodically at various theological schools doing special courses in church renewal.
Since the 1970’s his church experience has provided a living environment for broader Christian education ministry. Either by planting or adopting the philosophy, the Fellowship Bible Church model has birthed over 300 churches.
Gene has authored over 50 books, most of which have come from his pastoral experience, study and philosophy. Many of these titles have been printed and distributed in over 33 languages. The books have centered around what the New Testament teaches on a wide range of topics such as the way the Church should function, manhood, womanhood, marriage, Christian character and the responsibilities of church members towards one another. In 1993, Getz was one of the first non-Southern Baptists invited to do a series for Broadman and Holman. The result was his “Men of Character” Series. It focuses on the internal and external aspects of one’s faith walk. It is impacting the current interdenominational men’s movement. A continuing theme in his works is that of developing local church leadership.
In what may well be recognition of his international influence, Gene was given an honorary doctorate from the Institut Theologique de Nimes, Uchaud, France in 1999.
Dr. Getz has personally planted and pastored three Fellowship churches, and currently serves as Senior Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church North, located in Plano, Texas. In 2000 Gene and the elders initiated a seven-year leadership succession plan. This important transition was completed three and a half years early. On January 11, 2004 Gene officially became Pastor-at-Large. He devotes much time and energies to the Center for Church Renewal (CCR), an organization designed to minister to pastors, missionaries and other church leaders.
Additionally his 15-minute weekday program “Renewal” is carried on the Moody Radio Network. It is aired throughout the United States and on stations in Puerto Rico, Vieques Island, Belize and Guam. The format consists of dynamic interviews and biblical reflections. Renewal was one of the first Christian programs produced exclusively by utilizing Digital Audio Editing and Mastering.
Gene presently serves as Pastor-at-Large, Fellowship Bible Church North; Director, Center for Church Renewal; Host/Executive Producer, Renewal Radio, and as Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. His ministry career has involved a variety of experiences including Christian education, college and seminary teaching. The philosophy first ‘fleshed out’ in Sharpening the Focus of the Church continues to serve as the basis for his speaking, writing and radio involvement.
Contributions to Christian Education
Gene Getz is noted as a spokesperson for the renewal movement in evangelical Christian education. But he has provided more to the field of CE. He has contributed and reinforced at least five prime concepts to evangelical Christian education.
1. Accountability in Relation to Ecclesiastical Purposes
(Pazmino, 1997, p. 158).
Sharpening the Focus of the Church was written at a time when people were questioning the viability and nature of the church. Dr. Warren Benson used to say, “It was great for getting the train back on track.” Getz challenged evangelicals to develop proper perspective. Three lenses – the lens of Scripture (the eternal), the lens of history (the past), and the lens of culture (the present) – form the linkpins for the book. These were needed to avoid ecclesiastical myopia and to develop a strategy for impactful contemporary ministry.
The Lens of Scripture was treated first for a purpose. In his view it is “basic and foundational to developing a philosophy of ministry that is truly Christian” (Getz, 1974, p.17). Without apology he aligns himself with the ‘Biblical purists’ in their absolute dependence on the authority of Scripture and their faith in the Word of God to do the work of God. Indeed, 189 of Sharpening’s 320 pages are devoted to overview and expounding the principles which he developed from the scriptures. Getz believes it is essential to get back to scripture to gain one’s theological bearings. Not everyone will always agree with his assessment on what is pattern and what is principle. He does, however, maintain that the scriptures form a Christian’s foundational bedrock. His scriptural presentation of the New Testament churches is practical ecclesiology made alive and is well documented from the Bible. Such an underpinning with scripture remains consistent throughout all of his writings.
Getz warns the church about its tendency toward institutionalism
“We have allowed nonabsolutes to become absolute. This way of thinking is the most subtle of all in leading the church into institutionalism. That which is meant to be a means to an end, becomes an end in itself. We allow ourselves to get locked into patterns and structures which are no longer relevant and adequate, to help us minister to people who live in our contemporary culture” (Getz, 1974, p. 209).
Yet, Getz’s concerns do not automatically lead to an overreaction to traditionalism. He attempts to build a solid biblical foundation for the local church and lays a foundation for a serious reader to inductively work out answers related to the specific church situation.
2. Biblical Authority
Gene Getz stands solidly with the thinking of other evangelicals, and that of Dr. Lois Lebar, one of his mentors at Wheaton College. He affirms basic truths on the basis of written revelation from God. When speaking of this he says,
“To start a new work or to renew an established church, it is very important to begin with the perspective of the Word of God. It is to this Book we must turn as our authoritative base. …You must begin here, then, where we began this study: with the Lens of Scripture. Christians must see clearly the five important areas in the New Testament that relate to the church: evangelism, edification, church leadership, communication, and organization and administration” (Getz, 1974, pp. 243-244).
Throughout his writings he constantly reminds readers to begin with the perspective of the Word of God.
3. Primacy and Importance of the Ministry of Teaching
Dr. Getz posits that the Ministry of Teaching is one of the primary elements for an effective church. It is central, not secondary. “Our primary task is to fulfill the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, to both ‘make disciples’ and to ‘teach those disciples.’ We are to be everlastingly busy at this task until Jesus Christ comes again” (Getz, 1974, p. 229). “Why then does the church exist as a gathered community? The answer to this question is clear-cut in the New Testament. The church is to become a mature organism through the process of edification so that it will become a dynamic witness to the world and so that it will honor and glorify God” (Getz, 1974, p. 53).
“What then is edification in the New Testament sense of the word? It seems to be that ongoing experience, where biblical truth (doctrine) is learned within the context of ‘relational Christianity’ and ‘dynamic Christian witness’. To neglect any one of these facets of New Testament life is to interfere with the God-ordained plan for edification in the local church” (Getz, 1974, p. 74).
When developing the ‘Principles of New Testament Edification’, Gene highlights the importance of equipping believers with both basic and in-depth knowledge of the Word of God. Knowledge of scripture is ‘basic to arriving at maturity.’ He thus holds a high place for the role of the rational, cognitive dynamic in developing believers. Over a decade later Robert Mulholland would write remarkably similar words. “We must love God with all of our mind. We must seek to utilize our cognitive, intellectual, rational dynamics to the best of our ability. We cannot shirk this at all” (Mulholland, 1985, p. 23)
But Getz, like Mulholland, is not content to stop there. He believes that teaching in the New Testament goes further. He recognizes that simple mental agreement to the abstract conceptualizations of scripture will not achieve the goal of becoming like Christ. He states,
“We must lead Christians beyond the realm of knowing in the superficial sense of the word. Experience has demonstrated beyond doubt that knowing does not automatically lead to doing. A Christian can know many things about God without sensing His greatness, His power, His riches, and His grace, without being moved by the marvel of the wonder of it all. It is possible to know every jot and title in the Scriptures and still to lack the conviction and motivation to live out one iota of its truth. It is possible to have doctrine and truth ‘coming out of our ears’ without being mature disciples of Jesus Christ” (Getz, 1974, pp. 78-79).
Getz understands that content separated from life example produces sterile orthodoxy. He maintains that the local church must provide believers with “opportunities to develop capacities” and “the sum total of experiences which will help them get beyond the knowledge level” (Getz, 1974, pp. 78, 79). These activities include true worship of God, ministry to one another and opportunity to win others to Christ. Without all three types of experiences, believers will not get beyond the knowledge level.
The Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church North takes a total life view of Christian education. He maintains that we do injustice to proper teaching of the scripture when we dissect the text with great respect, while keeping our lives from being impacted by it. Gene understands that God is interested in followers who obey and live the Word. He wants people who learn it and respond to it, not just hear it. According to Hendricks, this kind of life response is “true learning” (Hendricks, 1987, p. 45). It is teaching in the full or complete sense.
It should be noted that many of Getz’s books include practical ideas for such “capacities” and “experiences.” Frequently, at the conclusion of a chapter, will be ‘Action Plans’, ‘Personal or Family Projects’, or other ideas about how to work on personally applying the expounded principles.
Like other renewalists of the 1960’s, Getz found biblical support for education taking place in the context of warm interpersonal relationships. He based this on the mutual and reciprocal process of ‘one another’ described in the New Testament. (Other church renewalists, John Wesley and Phillip Jacob Spener, had ‘rediscovered’ these same truths some 250 years earlier). Like Lawrence O. Richards, Gene highlighted the need for caring, modeling, interaction and ‘Body Life’. But Getz, perhaps as no other evangelical renewal writer, managed to avoid overstatements and overreactions.
Gene Getz holds to a balanced, functional view of teaching. He considers teaching a primary role that the church must fulfill. He promotes faithful local church education in both formal and nonformal settings. He reminds the church that Christianity is an experiential progression into holiness; it is a life to be lived rather than merely taught.
4. Church-Based Leadership Development
Developing leadership is seen as one of the five critical areas addressed by the New Testament for the church. The most important criterion for selecting leaders is the spiritual qualifications of the individual. One’s personal character qualities are what is important. Additionally, Dr. Getz believes that multiple-elder leadership in the norm for the local church. He believes several roles are vitally important for local church leaders. These include pastoral care, the ability to teach, and the need to function as a discerning pastor/guide. In a review of Richards and Hoeldtke’s A Theology of Church Leadership, Getz warns against those who fail to understand the need for Christians to have proper supervision and guidance (Getz, 1982, pp. 85-86). Another role that a spiritual leader in a church must learn is to establish priorities in the ministry. Getz maintains that additional leadership functions spelled out by the New Testament allow much room for creative thinking and personal performance variation.
A majority, if not all, of Getz’s writings are based on the need for growing Christians and developing local church leadership. The character qualities expected of leadership, which are repeated in the New Testament for all Christians, are themes frequently seen in Gene’s writings. Many of his books have evolved from a desire to develop men and women with those biblical character qualities. Building Up One Another, The Measure of a Man, The Measure of a Woman, Elders and Leaders are representative titles from the plethora that could be listed.
Gene feels it is in the area of church leadership where he has learned the most over the last 30 years. “We’ve done a lot of things right, but we’ve also made some mistakes. But that’s one of the exciting things about church planting. You can learn from each experience. We’re trying to apply the lessons we’ve learned. Since we are a new church, we are not locked into tradition – even our own tradition.”
It is recognition of the importance that the New Testament places on developing local leadership, Fellowship Bible Church North established the Center for Church Based Training. The curriculum aims to develop leaders - pastors, elders, governing boards, deacons, emerging leaders, and lay leaders. The material has been tested over time and attempts ‘to develop the character and qualities of a leader through an ordered learning process of scripture, biblical principles, projects, discussion questions, and wisdom from current biblical scholars.’ Several levels of material and tools are available, in addition to annual and regional conferences.
5. Cultural Sensitivity in Education
Gene Getz is perhaps the only evangelical renewalist of the 1960’s to begin struggling with the question of culture and its importance in the educational process. He raises concerns about how conveniently evangelicals attach current cultural environment with Scripture. He points out that this subtle mixing carries with it social and educational assumptions. He challenges individuals to realize that, to a degree that few of us comprehend, our understandings and thinking are shaped by our culture.
Getz encourages evangelical Christians to develop a contemporary church strategy based particularly on New Testament principles. He attempts to develop “supracultural principles” which could function in any culture. Taken together these principles show concern for the Christian missiological concept of contextualization. They attempt to communicate the message of the person, works, Word, and will of God in a way that is faithful to God’s revelation, especially as it is put forth in the teachings of Holy Scripture, and to share in a way that is meaningful to the respondents in their cultural and existential context. While Getz never fully develops the degree to which the culture of New Testament Christians informed on those principles, he remains an educational forerunner for cultural sensitivity in education.
Gene Getz has had a significant impact on Christian education for over 40 years. Contemporary students would be wise not to ignore his understandings. He successfully developed a renewalist philosophy that was both Word-centered and methodologically progressive. His teachings and writings, and the Fellowship Bible Church model, have stood the tests of time and growth. They are worthy of attention.
- Gaebelein, F. (1961). The pattern of God’s truth. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Getz, G. (1974). Sharpening the focus of the church. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1982). [Review of the book A theology of church leadership]. Biblotheca sacra, 139, 85-86.
- Hendricks, H. (1987). Teaching to change lives. Portland, Oregon: Multnomah.
- Mulholland, R. (1985). Shaped by the word: The power of scripture in spiritual formation. Nashville, TN.: The Upper Room.
- Getz, G. (1959). Audiovisual media in Christian education. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1962). The vacation Bible school in the local church. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1967). The Christian home. Chicago: Moody Bible Institute.
- Zuck, R., & Getz, G. (1968). Christian youth, an in-depth study: Profiles of 3,000 teenagers and their morals, values, doubts, religious practices, social characteristics, evaluations of themselves, their families, their churches. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1968). A history of Moody Bible Institute and its contributions to evangelical education. New York: New York University.
- Chapman, D., Getz, G., & Goddard, H. (1969a). You and your future. Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press.
- Getz, G. (1969b). The story of MBI. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Zuck, R., & Getz, G. (1970a). Adult education in the church. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Zuck, R., & Getz, G. (1971a). Ventures in family living. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1972). The Christian home in a changing world. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1976a). Building up one another. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1976b). The measure of a family. Glendale, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1976c). Abraham: Trials and triumph. Glendale, CA: G/L Regal Books.
- Krutza, W., & Getz, G. (1976d). Leader’s guide for group study of building up one another by Gene Getz. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1976e). Moses: moments of glory…feet of clay. Glendale, CA: G/L Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1976f). A profile of Christian maturity: A study of Philippians. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
- Getz, G. (1978a). David: God’s man in faith and failure. Glendale, CA: G/L Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1978b). A profile for a Christian life style: A study of Titus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
- Getz, G. (1979a). Loving one another. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1979b). Joshua: Defeat to victory. Glendale, CA: G/L Publications.
- Dodson, B., & Getz, G. (1979c). Leader's guide for group study of loving one another by Gene Getz. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1979d). When you feel like a failure: Take a lesson from David. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1980). The measure of a marriage. Glendale, CA: G/L Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1981a). Encouraging one another. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1981b). Nehemiah: A man of prayer and persistence. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Dodson, B., & Getz, G. (1981c). Leaders guide for group study of encouraging one another by Gene Getz. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1982a). Praying for one another. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Wilson, D., & Getz, G. (1982b). Your style of influence (SOI). Plano, TX: CCR.
- Getz, G. (1983a). Joseph, from prison to palace. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G., & Beckett, T. (1983b). Joseph: Living a life of integrity. Lincoln, NB: Back to the Bible Publishers.
- Getz, G. (1983c). The measure of a Christian: Studies in James 1. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1983d). The measure of a Christian: Studies in Philippians. Ventura, CA: Regal
- Getz, G. (1983e). The measure of a Christian: Studies in Titus. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1983f). Pressing on when you’d rather turn back: Studies in Philippians. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1984a). Doing your part when you’d rather let God do it all: Based on James 2- 5. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1984b). The measure of a woman. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1984c). Serving one another. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1984d). Sharpening the focus of the church. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1984e). When the pressure’s on. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1985a). Believing God when you are tempted to doubt: The measure of a Christian based on James 1. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1985b). Living for others when you’d rather live for yourself. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1985c). Looking up when you feel down: Based on Ephesians 1-3. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1986a). Abraham: Holding fast to the will of God. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G., & Vincent, J. (1986b). MBI, the story of Moody Bible Institute. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1986c). Standing firm when you’d rather retreat: Based on I Thessalonians. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1986d). When you feel like you haven’t got it, take a lesson from Moses. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1986e). When you’re confused & uncertain: Take a lesson from Abraham. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1987a). God’s plan for building a good reputation. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Weidlich, D., & Getz, G. (1987b). Leader’s guide for group study of God’s plan for building a good reputation by Gene Getz. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Getz, G. (1987c). Saying no when you’d rather say yes: Making choices based on Titus. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1987d). When the job seems too big: Take a lesson from Joshua. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1987e). When your goals seem out of reach: Take a lesson from Nehemiah. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G., & Getz, E. (1988). Partners for life: Making a marriage that lasts. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1989). Joseph: Finding God’s strength in times of trial. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1990a). A biblical theology of material possessions. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1990b). Real prosperity. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1994). The walk: The measure of spiritual maturity. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1995a). David: Seeking God faithfully. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1995b). Elijah: Remaining steadfast through uncertainty. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1995c). Joshua: Living as a consistent role model. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1995d). Nehemiah: Becoming a disciplined leader. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1995e). The measure of a man: 20 attributes of a godly man. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (1996a). Jacob: Following God without looking back. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1996b). Joseph: Overcoming obstacles through faithfulness. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1997a). Moses: Freeing yourself to know God. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1997b). Samuel: A lifetime serving God. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1998a). The Apostles: Becoming unified through diversity. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (1998b). Daniel: Standing firm for God. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G., Wall, J., Swindoll, C., & others. (2000a). Effective church growth strategies. Nashville, TN: Word Pub.
- Getz, G., & King, C. (2000b). Ephesians: Enjoying right relationships. Lincoln, NB: Back to the Bible Publishers.
- Getz. G. (2000c). Paul: Living for the call of Christ. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G. (2000d). The walk: Growing into the fullness of Christ. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman.
- Getz, G., & Beckett, T. (2001a). I Thessalonians: Moving forward in a backward world. Lincoln, NB: Back to the Bible Publishing.
- Getz, G. (2001b). The measure of a church. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
- Getz, G. (2003). Elders and leaders: God’s plan for leading the church: A biblical, historical, and cultural perspective. Chicago: Moody Press.
- Getz, G. (1983a). The “Sharpening the focus of the church” series. Video cassette and study guide. Plano, Texas: Center for Church Renewal.
- Getz, G. (1983b). The “One Another” series. Video cassette and study guide. Plano, Texas: Center for Church Renewal.
- Getz, G. (1983c). The “Measure of” Series. Video cassette and study guide. Plano, Texas: Center for Church Renewal.
- Getz, G. (1983d). Pastors Conference. Four audiocassette tapes. Chicago: Moody Bible Institute.
- Getz, G., & E. (1990). The Dynamics of a Successful Marriage. Ventura, CA: Regal. A four hour marriage enrichment course designed to go with Partners for Life.
- Getz, G. (1993). Spiritual Maturity. Richardson, Texas: Grace Products. A 12-part video series.
- Getz, G. (1970a, April). [Review of the book The multiple staff ministry]. Bibliotheca Sacra, 274.
- Getz, G. (1970b, APril). [Review of the book Coping with crises]. Bibliotheca Sacra, April , 274-275.
- Getz, G. (1970c, April). [Review of the book I, too, am man]. Bibliotheca Sacra, 275-276.
- Getz, G. (1970d, April). [Review of the book The young adult generation]. Bibliotheca Sacra, 276-277.
- Getz, G. (1970e, April). [Review of the book Farewell to the lonely crowd]. Bibliotheca Sacra, 277-278.
- Getz, G. (1971a, April). [Review of the book Saturation evangelism]. Bibliotheca Sacra, 153-154.
- Getz, G. (1971b, April). [Review of the book A new face for the church]. Bibliotheca Sacra, 161-162.
Selected Secondary Sources
- Borgstrom, K. K. (1979, January). [Review of the book Building up one another]. Moody Monthly, 84.
- Boyd, W. (1971, May). [Review of the book Adult education in the church]. Christianity Today, 31.
- Brown, W. (2000, Fall). [Review of the book Effective church growth strategies]. Faith and Mission, 1.
- Christian Churches of God. (2003). The One Another Principle. Retrieved July 14, 2003, from http://www.logon.org
- Crisis Care Hope for the Hurting. (1996). Richardson, Texas: Grace Product. Nine videocassettes with leaders guide and workbook. Getz is one of the presenters.
- Conay, H. (1996). [Review of the books David, Elijah, Joshua, and Nehemiah]. Religious Broadcasting, 28, 74.
- Constable, T.L. (1974). [Review of the book Sharpening the focus of the church]. Bibliotheca Sacra, October 1974, 363-4.
- Gangel, K. (1974). [Review of the book Sharpening the focus of the church]. Christianity Today, February 1975, 45.
- Haffly, J. M. (1998a). [Review of the book Building up on another]. Christian Library Journal, 3, 72.
- Haffly, J. M. (1998b). [Review of the book Encouraging one another]. Christian Library Journal, 3, 72.
- Haffly, J. M. (1998c). [Review of the book Loving one another]. Christian Library Journal, 3, 72.
- Hatcher , H. B. (1973, Spring). [Review of the book Audio-video media in Christian education]. Southwestern Journal of Theology, 118-19.
- Hempelmann, L. D. (1979, May). [Review of the book Profile of a Christian life style]. Concordia Journal, 119.
- Irvin, R.W. (1974, March). [Review of the book Sharpening the focus of the church]. Moody Monthly, 66.
- Kageler, L. (1982). [Review of the book Encouraging one another]. Alliance Witness, 117, 23.
- Laird, A. (2000). [Review of the book Effective church growth strategies]. Leadership, 21, 87.
- Master, J. R. (1995). [Review of the book A biblical theology of material possessions]. Journal of Evangelical Theology Society, 38, 252-3.
- McIntosh, G. (2001). [Review of the book Effective church growth strategies]. Strategies for Today’s Leader, 38, 40.
- Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pastor’s Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention. (1995, Jun 18-19). Atlanta, Georgia.
- Randell, W. (1991). [Review of the book A biblical theology of material possessions]. Christian Standard, 126, 1055.
- (1991). [Review of the book A biblical theology of material possessions]. Urban Mission, 9, 55.
- (1995). [Review of the book The walk: The measure of spiritual maturity]. Christian Book Review, 1, 12-13.
- Richardson, B. (1971). [Review of the book Adult education in the church]. Southwestern Journal of Theology, Spring 1971, 126-7.
- Robertson, I. (1969, June). [Review of the book MBI]. Moody Monthly, 95-6.
- Sailer, W. (1991, Spring). [Review of the book A biblical theology of material possessions]. Evangelical Journal, 41-42.
- Sand Castles (1991). Videocassette. Garland, Texas: Evangelical Films.
- Smith, W.M. (1970, September). [Review of the book MBI]. Moody Monthly, 53-56.
- Taylor, P. C. (1984). [Review of the book Measure of a Christian]. Christian Librarian, 27, 68.
- Wakefield, N. (1973, April). [Review of the book Christian home in a changing world]. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 91.
- Werner, E. (1992). [Review of the book Real prosperity]. Christian Librarian, 35, 51-52.
Excerpts from Publications
Gene A. Getz. (1974). Sharpening the focus of the Church. Chicago: Moody.
“Note carefully: Paul wanted them (ie. the Ephesian church) to know the love of Christ which goes beyond knowledge! The greatest danger today in the edification process is that Christians learn the deep truths of the Word of God, but never move to the level of behavior that demonstrates wisdom, appreciation, deep awareness and sensitivity to their position in Christ. … If believers are merely recipients of truth without the opportunity to truly worship God, minister to one another and to win others to Christ, they will not get beyond the knowledge level. …Believers need all three vital experiences to grow into mature Christians. They need good Bible teaching that will give them theological and spiritual stability; they need deep and satisfying relationships both, with each other and to Jesus Christ; and they need to experience seeing people come to Jesus Christ as a result of corporate and individual witness to the non-Christian world. … And the need all three!” (pp. 78-80). “The New Testament principles and purposes of Evangelism are: Every body of believers must be responsible for its own community first. Corporate evangelism is basic to personal evangelism. Presenting the gospel to the unsaved is to take place primarily “in the world,” not “in the church.” The primary target for evangelism should be adults and, consequently, whole households. The church is responsible to identify those whoa re especially endowed by God as people who can carry the good news, in a special way, out into the community and beyond the immediate community – even to “the remotest part of the earth.” New believers, as soon as possible, should be integrated into the life of the church. The twentieth century church must develop its own contemporary structures and approaches to evangelism, utilizing the principles and purposes as biblical guidelines.” (pp. 244-245).
Getz, Gene A. (1990). A Biblical theology of material possessions. Chicago: Moody. (pp. 23-24).
“As we progress through this study and complete each part, we will delineate biblical principles that emerge from each unit. Since one of our major goals is to determine from Scripture a body of principles to guide twentieth-century Christians in the use of their material possessions, it is important, first of all, to define what is meant by a principle. … Principles are basic “laws” or “doctrines” or “assumptions” that reveal God’s will for Christians regarding how they should view and use their material possessions. In that sense, these principles become a “code of conduct” to guide Christians in their living. …. Principles per se do not include the way in which a principle is applied in any given cultural situation. Principles relate to activities (functions) and directives (teachings), not to forms, patterns, and methodology. Though it is impossible to engage in functions (the application of principles) without some kind of formal methodology and structure, it is possible to state a principle that describes a function without describing the form that principle takes when it is applied. This is what makes a biblical principle truly supracultural. If it is, indeed, a correctly worded biblical principle, it can be applied anywhere in the world, no matter what the cultural conditions. … Being able to apply these principles is not dependent on any cultural factors. Though it may be more difficult to apply them because of certain cultural restrictions and pressures, their supracultural nature makes it possible for these principles to work in some form or fashion.”
Gene A. Getz. (2003). Elders and Leaders: God’s plan for leading the church. Chicago: Moody. (pp. 29 - 30).
A Cultural Perspective: Gaining insights from the third lens – the lens of culture – is absolutely essential. Without an ongoing understanding of the way people think, feel, and function in a given culture, it’s impossible to both interpret Scripture properly and to apply biblical principles in various cultures of the world. Jesus, of course, understood this notion perfectly in His ministry to people from various cultural backgrounds. And Paul stands out as our most dynamic example in becoming “all things to all men so that by all possible means [he] might save some” (I Corinthians 9:22. Paul understood culture and used cultural insights without compromising divine absolutes. So should we! Here Grenz offers a word of caution – with which we agree wholeheartedly. We must never look to what we think is the “Spirit’s voice in culture” when it contradicts the text of Scripture. Rather, we must evaluate cultural insights against the backdrop of biblical truth - not the other way around. Though insights from culture may challenge us to evaluate historic interpretations of Scripture, these insights must not drive the process. If they do, we’re in danger of making judgments that are out of harmony with God’s revealed will in the Word of God.”
Getz, G. (1974). Sharpening the focus of the Church. Chicago: Moody.
Examines biblical principles for worship, community and outreach through the lens of Scripture, history and culture.
Getz, G. (1975). The measure of a church. Glendale, CA.: Regal.
Develops the thesis that God’s measure of a healthy church is build around the amount of faith, hope and love that its members exhibit to one another and the community.
Getz, G. (1976). Building up one another. Wheaton, IL: Victor.
Explores the responsibilities of Christians to and for each other within the local church.
Getz, G. (2003). Elders and leaders. Chicago: Moody.
Identifies the biblical qualifications for church leadership, principles for leadership appointments and functions, board size, and a succession plan.
James A. Davies
James A. Davies is the Dean of Instruction and Professor of Practical Theology at Simpson College and Graduate School. He holds an Ed. D. in Adult and Continuing Education from The University of Georgia (1989).