Thursday, October 22, 2009

for missions at home

What has washing someone’s car got to do with the gospel?

Committed to bringing the Christian message to young people to his hometown of Manchester, England, Andy Hawthorne was shocked when a missions partner told him he shouldn’t just preach the gospel but also engage in community projects.

It worked. The Message Trust has been recognized internationally as bringing hope and change to the roughest, poorest neighborhoods of Manchester.

And it got him thinking: What, exactly, should the priority of the church be? Should it be the lamp on a stand—bold, unashamed gospel proclamation to as many as possible? Or should it be more salt and yeast—serving and blessing the vulnerable and marginalized, with no questions asked?

The answer, of course, is both. Christians who truly want to follow Jesus should explain the good news with words—but also make sure to demonstrate the gospel through what’s been described as random acts of kindness. Written in a passionate, nonreligious style, Hope Unleashed is filled with moving true stories and practical ideas and strategies for Christian mission based on word and deed.

Andy Hawthorne is an evangelist, author, and founder of the Message Trust, an award-winning Christian mission organization dedicated to bringing the gospel message to the poorest neighborhoods of his hometown and beyond. He is the author of Diary of a Dangerous Vision and The Smile of God.

Hope Unleashed: Serving God through Words and Actions by Andy Hawthorne

David C Cook/August 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1-4347-6448-5/softcover/171 pages/$12.99

To find out more and to purchase your copy, go to
David C. Cook.

I was excited to receive my free review copy of Hope Unleashed from David C. Cook. This is an interesting book - not so much a 'How to...', which I was expecting, but more of a wake up call to what mission could look like in your own neighborhood. It is a rather quick read, and tells the interesting story of what thinking outside the traditional box of mission can look like and how God blesses the work in the process. If you want a new perspective on mission work, you won't be disappointed. However, again, it is not so much a 'How to...' book that spells out how to get something like what they described in the book going in your neighborhood, but it is full of wonderful ideas that the creative mind can put to work for the glory of God.