AUTHOR: John Hambrick
PUBLISHER: Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishers, 2016, (208 pages).
Serenity's Steps. There is Patrick O'Connelly who helped to work for reconciliation in Northern Ireland through the ministry of Habitat for Humanity. Then there is faith in Pakistan where readers learn about how some American believers are in solidarity with the local believers. The change in perspectives is all that is needed to trigger a change in lifestyle. When we follow Jesus, we must be prepared to go where the Spirit leads us, not wait for some comfortable pet projects to fall on our laps. Hambrick also shares the moving story of Young Life, a ministry that has blessed over 1.7 million kids. By organizing summer camps with the tagline, "This will be the best week of your life," they prove that kids are not people waiting to be fed or have things done for them. They can be empowered to do great things for God. All that is needed are people interested in their lives and are willing to connect, to build friendships, and to care for them. Key to the understanding of moving toward the mess is the motivation. It has to be powered by love and not guilt-driven trips.
The second part of the book expands this movement toward a messy world with several impactful stories. Stories about the Wycliffe Bible Translators; Atlanta Mission; a John Cowan; and others to show us the difference individuals can make if they can simply initiate a move toward the messy parts of society. Each chapter ends with several discussion questions. Every story points us to the actualization of possibilities. Each changed life shows us that whatever we do for Christ is all worth it when people see the presence of God in our outreach. It makes me wonder about the ultimate fix that Hambrick has promised. It is none other than the boldness to step out of our comfort zones so as to be immersed in where the action truly is. We learn about how moving toward the mess looks like. The moment we ask: "Where should I start?" is already a very positive sign. Below are some other tips:
- Sense what things get us up and running with passion
- Pray about the nudges in our lives
- Investigate and be curious about possibilities
- Do a test drive
- Learn to work together with others for in teamwork, we discover more about things
- Develop a new "assessment model" about from the worldly metrics for success; Try thinking about spiritual, emotional, physical, vocational, and social factors.
- Recognize that there is no such thing as a "personal gospel" and a "social gospel." There is only one gospel and it incorporates both the personal and the social aspects.
John Hambrick is a member of the leadership team at Buckhead Church, which is also the urban campus of Andy Stanley's North Point Community Church. He has ministered in Pakistan, London South Africa, inner-city Los Angeles. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children. As one reads this book, one can easily feel Hambrick's passion flowing through the pages, to get us toward action. Read this book and say goodbye to boredom. For boredom is much more about the state of one's mind. What is needed is a starting kick to get us going.
Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of David C. Cook Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.