Developing a Heart of Compassion

Ever drive down the highway and after a few miles, all of a sudden you wonder, “Where have I just been?” You become aware that you were deep in thought driving on autopilot, not noticing the scenery around you. Or how about when you go down a road for the 1000th time and suddenly say, “I never noticed that house there before!” Life goes by in a blur and, if you are like me, you can plow right through a week and not make a difference in someone else’s life. Sure, help your customers at work, or a relative, but forget about having time to help someone you don’t know. And yet every day 1000’s of people, only a few miles from our front door, are hurting financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If the church is going to make a difference, then someone has to take responsibility to bring the needy into our focus. I find that books can help do that for us. Today I want to recommend three books that can help change you and your church into a more socially responsible church.
 
IRRESTIBLE REVOLUTION
This is a new book written by Shane Claiborne. It is a passionate plea to the church and those that call themselves Christians to become radical in our love for other people. Shane went to Calcutta and worked in the streets, developing a love for the poor and needy. He came back to Philadelphia and started a community living in an old house. They have no huge social agenda other than loving those in their community. This alone has made a tremendous difference. Shane is passionate and his book will challenge the young and old alike. ORDER this book and start making a difference.    

EXTERNALLY FOCUSED CHURCH

This book was written by two Pastors from Colorado who have a church that is really making a difference. The plea of the book is for the church to come out of its four walls and start to make a difference in the world around us. The main question that the book asks is, “If your church were to close its doors today, would anyone protest? Would anyone in the community notice that you were gone? Would your help in the community be sorely missed? If we were honest, most of us would have to say, “No!”
This book doesn’t just challenge, it gives concrete examples of what to do. We bought this for our staff and ministry leaders and it has helped flame a fire in our church. ORDER this book for your staff and discuss how your people can start to implement some of the ideas in the book.
 
PRESENT FUTURE
This book is a classic. It is written to help get churches off their pew and into making a difference. The main premise is that we worship in “Spiritual Country Clubs” and have lost our heart for those that don’t know Christ. We are running under false pretences thinking that today’s society is going to flock to our church services when in reality, fewer are going to church each passing year. His plea to the American church is to wake-up and become missional. We led Bible studies on this book with the staff, Elders, Deacons and ministry leaders.  It has rallied our leadership and helped us develop values reflecting a more missional midset. ORDER this book today and start to become a missional church.

You can go to our bookstore and order copies of these books. Have there been any books that you have read that have made you more aware of the need around you? If so share them with the rest of us.

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