Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Hope for Family Outreach

BookSneeze on behalf of Zondervan Publishing provided a complimentary of Organic Outreach for Families: Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse in exchange for an honest review.
     The Great Commission that Jesus called all believers to fulfill isn't an easy task. Add parenting, careers and any other responsibilities into the equation and it equals a full plate. Step into church on Sunday morning, the pastor mentions our obligations as Christians and guilt may set in. Where does one find more time? How can one reach out without sacrificing life? Where can kids fit into the equation?
     Authors and husband and wife team, Kevin G. Harney and Sherry Harney, want to share what has led to a successful life and outreach strategy for them. Organic Outreach is as it sounds. Outreach should be an extended part of our lives, sharing it with neighbors and strangers alike. It isn't a five step, one-size-fits-all approach. Their approach is natural and doesn't require a lot of know how. Rather, it requires you to open up your heart and home, and best of all, as a family.
     Through three parts the Harneys encourage the believer to live out their beliefs. The authors want you to first make sure a couple important aspects of your life reflect godly living, not perfect living, by the way. In Part One: Reaching Your Own Family ensures that we are reaching our children and family members before reaching out to the neighbors. Part Two: Raising Children of Light in a Dark World guides the reader to instill proper living into their kids. Parents can help equip their children to fulfill the Great Commission. Finally, Part Three: Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse gives instruction and encouragement to families to extend God's presence into the lives of others.
    I have a hard time opening my home to others as I look at it as my place of solace and refuge from the world. However, there lies the key. Our homes can be refuges for others in need of comfort and fellowship. Darkness surrounds us. His light can abound through us. The Harneys really press into the fact that organic means natural. Being a lighthouse is to allow the natural warmth and joy we have found in Christ to exude and invite others into the glow. I love that. I can relax and know with some effort my family can be an example. Perfection is out and a smile and a listening ear are in. My kids can run around and draw their playmates into our home, dust and all. I don't have to go up to someone, tap them on the shoulder and ask if they know Christ. Care and compassion can go a long way opening up doors that will lead to conversations of salvation and eternity. Organic Outreach for Families has opened up new thinking and with practice some new doing.
     This book is easy to read and has a lot of charm. Just as Christ's light beckons, Organic Outreach for Families does the same. It beckons us into our calling to shine His light for others and lead them to the Beacon of Hope.


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