First of all I would like top thank Crossway Publishers and Net Galley for making a review copy of this book available to me, at no cost, in exchange for a review.
Jeff Vanderstelt is a former youth Pastor with Willow Creek Church and now a church planting Pastor in Tacoma, Washington. This book is his first and is a description of his spiritual walk and to some degree his spiritual awakening to how the Christian life should be lived and how Discipleship should take place.
As the book started I thought it was a bit over the top and I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it very much. In his introduction he states, “Can you imagine every city, every neighborhood, every street, and every house saturated with Jesus’s presence through his people? What if, in every school, every classroom, and every extracurricular activity, students daily experience the person and work of Jesus? And can you dream with me of a day when no business office, retail center, or industrial hub can get away from the good news of Jesus proclaimed in words and expressed in gracious deeds? A day when every café, pub, restaurant, or bakery smells of the aroma of Christ? This is God’s intention for this world. And his plan is to do it through his people.”
I thought that was a bit idealistic given how our culture is and how there is such a distain for Christ and His church. So I thought here is another idealistic young person whom needs a reality check!
But, as I read more of the book I found that I understood where he was coming from and I found that I agreed with him on more and more points.
Since I am working with a church plant group that is operating the same way that Pastor Vanderstelt is with his “Missional” church plant I appreciated his major points of how we are to live with Jesus as the central focus of our daily lives and that we should be so immersed and filled by the Spirit that everyone around us will see Jesus and see how Jesus wants to influence our culture and influence each person’s life, for the better.
This book is a compilation of stories about peoples changed lives and how Discipleship played an important role in each of those changes.
For those who know Christ and understand their Bible fairly well this book will seem like just a reminder of how we should be living our lives. But then again it has some radical thoughts, according the many, about how to Disciple others within their church community.
This will be an encouraging read for laypeople and pastors as well who are wanting to think through how living in the community of Christ and discipling others might look with some new emphasis on boldly living out our commitment to Christ.