The other month I got an e-mail from Mike Morrell, who runs the Speakeasy Blog program which allows bloggers to get books, read them and then review them on their blog. The e-mail was offering the book The Story Lives: Leading a Missional Revolution by Henriet Schapelhouman. As a missional practitioner who is seeking to planting a missional church, I always jump at the chance to read another work regarding missional life and ministry.
So I got the book, read it, and am finally getting around to reviewing it.
The author's hope behind the book is spelled out on the back of the book in the form of this question, "Are you a typical believer who will die without leading a single person to Jesus? Or will you live missionally and change someone's eternity?" And with that question the author seeks to spell out what it means to live missionally.
The book I believe would be a great starting point for someone just getting their toes wet in the missional conversation. A few times throughout the book I felt almost like I was reading The Missional Driven Life. I would recommend this book to someone who had just heard about the missional conversation and who is a part of a more traditional expression of church.
That isn't to say that there isn't something for everyone no matter where they are on the missional journey.
The things that most stood out to me in the book related to her personal story of moving towards the missional conversation and missional ministry. The biggest insight for me was when she shared her story of growing up in Europe and living in a post-Christendom culture, moving to the United States, and slowly waking up to the reality and the United States is now a missions context and is in the middle of the shift to post-Christendom. She says it this way, "This shift from modernism to postmodernism and Christendom to post-Christendom, now has been happening in the United States. In learning about postmodernism, post-Christianity and missional ministry, I reconnected to my missional roots." I wish she would have spelled out more connections between her missional roots and her current missional context. It would have been helpful to have her do some comparisons between Europe and the US and how can churches in the US better connect with the emerging postmodern and post-Christendom context that we now find ourselves in.
Another great thing about this book is it's format around stories. There are many personal stories, stories from other leaders in the missional conversation, and opportunity for the reader to chime in with their own story, through the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
I was glad to be able to read the book and reflect on my own story and my transition into the missional conversation. So if you are just starting your story in the missional conversation, feel free to pick up this book, or I can let you read my copy.
Disclaimer: this book has been granted to me through SpeakEasy so that I might review it impartially.