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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Difference Makers" (M. Scott Boren)

TITLE: Difference Makers: An Action Guide for Jesus Followers
AUTHOR: M. Scott Boren
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013, (208 pages).

This book is designed as a 40-days journey to be a difference maker, a day at a time, one action at a time, and one step of faith at a time. There are those who can be "leap of faith" difference makers, while the rest are mostly "step of faith" people wanting to make a difference. The core conviction is that anyone who wants to make a difference, can make a difference. The process of change is as follows:

We first encounter God. We then experience God together as a community. Finally, we engage the world with the Word of God. With intentional movement and action, the purpose of the flow is to let the actions we take change us from the inside out. Though Boren describes each stage sequentially, it needs to be understood that all three domains of encounter-experience-engagement are overlapping processes. The Christian life is not about following a set of rules. It is about becoming a follower who lets the truth of Christ shines in the relationships we make or are making. Difference makers essentially act best in the middle of all three circles as follows.
Each chapter is short. It leads with a personal sharing or a story. It brings in some biblical examples, There are lots of diagrams and illustrations to give readers a chance to visualize what the author is saying, and how to place themselves into the image. On some days, it will simply be a straight-through reading. On other days, there will be activity lists. Gradually, the chapters on engaging the world becomes more personal and urges the readers to do more than just read the book. 

My Thoughts

The key benefit in this book is that it challenges readers who want to make a difference with a plan that is doable. Whether it is successful in terms of seeing lives changed, or bringing in the numbers, we may not know. What is important is that the steps are changing the practitioner from the inside out, through outside activities. Guided by biblical support and boldness in living, the underlying conviction Boren has is that we can all be a difference-maker. In a way, though the author does not explicitly state it, the book attempts to parallel Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life. The ideas are simple enough, but the more difficult thing is to get the reader to get up and do something about it.

Such a book again presents an opportunity for readers to grow. They can do it, but they first have to want to do it. They can be a difference, but first they need to be willing to make a difference. They can make a difference in another person's life, but first they need to have experienced the difference. Boren reminds me again that making a difference does not require one to take a radical bungee leap of faith. We can start small. We can begin humbly. We can commence now, a day at a time, an activity at a time, a person at a time.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Baker Books and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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