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Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In this heartfelt and thoughtful book, Christopher Heuertz writes of the dangers of isolation, the challenges we face when we join together and the struggles and joys that emerge from genuine community bonding.

“Ironically, as much as we yearn for deep friendships and meaningful communities, many of us seem to be unable to find our way into them. Even if we know we’re made
ebook, 240 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Howard Books (first published September 4th 2012)
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Bogdan Chelariu
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have lived in community for quite a number of years. I have loved my community and I have experienced the need to be away from it. As Chris Heuertz says, I have discovered that the things that make us leave are the very things that may have the greatest potential to make us want to stay.
This book speaks to my heart in a very special way as at some point in my life I actually chose to be away from my community for a while. It was a painful decision. It was a healthy decision for that moment in
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was particularly relevant to me, living as I am in a like-minded community of people striving together for a common (or at least a shared) purpose. I especially liked Heuertz's chapters discussing chemistry and gratitude, as I feel those are especially under-discussed items, at least in the communities that I have been a part of.
Annie Erickson
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thought-provoking and challenging! Christopher Heuertz takes you out of your comfort zone in a gentle yet purposeful way, causing you to reassess your values, your intentionality, and purposeful living. I plan to reread this many times!
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not bad. Took my time reading it so I could let it sink in...the beauty of communities, even in their brokenness.
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this book was going to be insights and reflections about a variety of different communities--personal, professional, neighbourhood, as well as spiritual. The book really focuses on missionary communities, so many of his stories didn't feel entirely relevant or applicable to other communities. That being said, there were some principles and insights throughout his book that are generalizable, and he certainly has a unique vocational experience to share.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Community” is a pretty grand topic and the guy who wrote this is clearly extroverted and has had a pretty unique experience in community. This book covers a lot of ground and I think any one of the chapters could be it’s own book. At times I felt like an outsider looking in. At other times, I felt personally challenged and like I was receiving therapy. Good book for discussion.
Sam McBratney
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm trying to read as much as possible about Christian community and this was a fascinating read. Very personal, a bit American, but real insight into leading a community. Thoroughly recommend.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this one but I loved The Sacred Enneagram one better. :)
Jun 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Having lived in one of these communities... this was a difficult read. Also, there's this: ...more
Tim Hoiland
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Chris Heuertz’s new book Unexpected Gifts is about community, and since Bo White (@bomwhite) and I read it around the same time, he asked if I’d like to review it together.

The first half of the review, presented in interview form, appeared on his blog:

The second half is here:
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book. It was such an enjoyable and engaging read, I just as easily unwound to this at the end of a long day or over a weekend as I would have with a novel. It was also incredibly thought-provoking, both convicting and encouraging, addressing common issues and thinking outside the box while strongly grounded in Biblical principle. I would highly recommend it!
Thomas Tijerina
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Love his valuable insight on friendship and community. I would have given it 5 stars but it seemed to jump around a bit much for me and perhaps lost the focus here and there, but then again, I think it is because this man has so many interesting stories to tell.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I connected deeply with some parts of this book and not at all with others. Just when I would get excited about one chapter, the next would drag on. I'm not sure why I responded this way. I would give the parts that really challenged me five stars and give the rest of the book three.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The section on doubt was very freeing and timely for me.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dean by: Dick Darlington
Shelves: relationships
Impactful book as we try to build community along Monroe Road. Several great point to share.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Chris does it again. Despite a few bumpier chapters in the middle, it’s a fascinating book that takes an honest and raw look at what being in community can be in both its good and bad aspects.
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