The bookshelves are full of tomes that condemn the Christian Church and predict its demise. The decline in membership is proof positive that the end is near. In this milieu, it is refreshing to read a book that believes the Christian faith can and will have a positive impact on our society and the world.
The book is entitled, The Story Lives: Leading a Missional Revolution, by Henriet Schopelhouman, Tendril Press.
I understand that author’s main point to be that each of our individual stories is valuable because it is part of God’s story. As Christians we are most effective sharing the gospel—God’s love and grace–by allowing our story to be a part of the stories of the people around us and by being open to the stories of others. She is an advocate personal, relational evangelism. The true power of the Christian Church is not slick sermon series, professional music teams that lead worship at ear splitting decibels, or even well intended mission trips. The power of the gospel is sharing God’s story and our stories, while listening to other stories.
The author is critical of congregations that don’t venture beyond their walls and Christians that get so caught up in the activities of their congregations that they have no time for the people they encounter in their daily lives. She even takes a couple jabs at the popular mission trips. While acknowledging the positive aspects of the trips, she points out their limited, temporary benefits, their costs, and the fact that they distract us from our true mission fields.
The tenor of The Story Lives, is positive and not condemning or negative. The stories that the author shares are inspiring and clearly illustrate the points she makes. Simply stated the book is a good read.
I didn’t like everything in the book. There are some theological opinions with which I disagree and that I think weaken the message of the book. Still, they aren’t prominent enough to cause me to dislike the book itself.
So, if you’re looking for an inspiring read that encourages you to be a Christian storyteller in your own backyard, this is a book that will do just that.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.