As you know by now if you've read some of my blog, I read books for a variety of publishers and post reviews of new books. Personally I'm one of those sorts who tries to blog with this old school mom-advice in mind: if you can't say any thing nice about someone, don't say it at all.
So...The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn puts me in a quandry. I didn't really like the book. I was bored. His theology (and I absolutely believe that God is all about yes and gets a bum rap that he's all about no) seems indulgent. It misses the Yes in sacrifice and waiting and pain. Argh. And it reads slow.
Okay, there, I've done it. So let me tell you what I liked if you are brave enough to read on. I actually really liked his introduction. He tells his personal story as a pastor about leading a church in crisis. He leads a very wealthy church in Tennessee...my husband is on a pastoral team at a very poor church in urban Denver. Yet, I was encouraged because through Mike's story I saw that my husband is in his sweet spot of ministry -- thoroughly mixed up in the lives of people, teaching the Word regularly, counseling, walking alongside, fielding late night phone calls...loving people. It's messy and hard but he is doing it faithfully every day. He receives very little pay and no benefits. He has few choices in what he can "farm out" to other people. If there' s a breakfast gathering, he buys the food out of that meager salary; there is no church budget for these things and our people are poor. Mike's conclusion in his story was to just do what he's good at and give the rest to others.
Okay enough said - I really was encourage by the introduction and agree that we do the best for our congregations and others when we focus on what we are good at.
As always, here are a few quotes to give you a flavor of the book:
"If we understand who we are created to be in Christ, we realize we have an all-consuming calling. Our calling -- our "yes" in Christ -- is what focuses our lives and determines how we invest our lives." (p. 14)
"Getting to know your "yes" allows you to ask one simple question of everything that comes along: does it help me get where I am going? If it does, then choose it. If not, then drop it." (p.15)
"What makes life increasingly difficult is to know what you are against without knowing what you are for." (p. 15)
"Committing yourself to the "yes" of Christ isn't losing everything but letting go of all the wrong things." (p. 15)
"Every yes carries with it a no, and no defines our limits as created beings." (p. 22)
"As long as out first thought is What do I need to avoid?, the guiding influence in our lives is sin, not Christ." (p. 28)
Sadly, while there is good in this book, it's just not meaty enough for my tastes.
(Note: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)