Christopher Lawson's Reviews > A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel

A Field Guide for Everyday Mission by Ben Connelly
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it was amazing

√ Take a Few Puffs on a Cigar!

Yes, it's true. The authors are renegades. They are wild--nay, abnormal! They suggest smoking, a little gambling, keeping a pipe handy. I wasn't sure I understood them right, but I think they even suggested having a nip of whiskey at a campfire. Can this be? Have the authors lost their senses? What will come next--talking to Democrats?

♦ Relax, the authors are in full possession of their faculties. Their point is, if that's what it takes to reach the lost, then DO IT. Instead of isolating ourselves, let us make proactive choices to embrace your mission field, wherever you are. Yes, maybe that will involve sitting at a bar. As the authors state it in Tip #40, "Become stoked about people."

♦ Our lives should NOT be same as others; we have to be different--even sort of radical: "We should live in a way that makes folks wonder if we've got a few screws loose... Because of Jesus' work in us, our lives, choices, and decisions are marked by gospel abnormality." YES, YES, they've got it right! We are supposed to be different--we should seem a little strange, at least by the world's standard.

♦ This book reminds me a lot of Bill Hybels, "Just Walk Across the Room." The theme is very similar--take proactive action to reach the lost. In it's simplest form, this means simply saying, "Hello" to someone you don't know. As simple as this sounds, the fact is Christians are often reticent to talk to others: "Many people consider themselves shy. Striking up a conversation is simply something several of us aren't comfortable with."

♦ In A FIELD GUIDE FOR EVERYDAY MISSION, the authors provide an abundance of encouraging stories and suggestions to help us take that step "across the room." Tip #81 is, "Share missional stories with leaders: Even if leaders don't get it, your mission should benefit the church." I've found it helpful to share these stories in our sermon "discussion group." I've found that 90% of believers need encouragement about how to reach out to the unchurched folks.

♦ There are stories recounted by the authors and their friends, about ways they demonstrated the love of Jesus in their own mission field. For example, the story of the odd neighbor, "Crazy Dan," told by Lance Ford. According to Lance, Dan did indeed look a bit crazy. The house was falling apart, and it was a bit disconcerting to approach Dan in his car. But Lance took the initiative and got to know Dan. Turns out he was a computer scientist! Surprise! He wasn't crazy--he was LONELY. Dan continues to share his time with Dan, hoping and praying that someday Dan will give his heart to Jesus.

These are the types of encouraging stories presented in this encouraging book. These are not theoretical stories, about some faraway place--they are the stories of what can happen in OUR community. Such as, Rick McKinley, who takes a completely different tact in his city, Portland. There, despite bias against evangelicals, he works with the mayor and city officials, to help improve their city--and specifically improve the high school drop out rate.

Here are some other features:

♦ In each chapter, there are probing questions "For you to work through." These questions are designed to be helpful and encouraging. There are general questions, as well as questions for each of the 30 days.

♦ The authors emphasize they aren't encouraging doing "good" things just to be doing "good" things: "Mission is not truly mission if it doesn't involve Jesus." I remember when I helped pass out food in a poor section of San Diego. The African-American man standing next to me always made clear, "Jesus is the reason for the season." He wanted to announce what was REALLY important--not the food, but the savior.

♦ The authors conclude with Day 30, "Learn to Share the gospel by practicing sharing the gospel." Or, "JUST DO IT." They quote from the famous book, "Outliers," where Malcolm Gladwell claims that 10,000 hours of practice are required to become the best at some field.

√ HIGHLY RECOMMEND - THIS IS ONE OUTSTANDING BOOK! But I have to go now, I'm trying to get my pipe lit, and I've got an appointment to talk to a Democrat over a shot of Whiskey and ...
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