Book Review: Outrageous and Courageous by Fred Barnhard and Jeremy Ashworth

Reviewed by Bruce Laverman

“Hi.

This is a book about making friends and sharing faith.

It’s also about sock balls, bloodsuckers, an epidemic of loneliness, and the RSVP Bible.

It’s about crucifying our excuses.

It’s about showing hospitality, paying attention, and embracing risk.

It’s about building real relationships and loving people and sharing Jesus.

And it’s a little bit about a homeless man named Mona Lisa.”

Catch your interest?  It did mine.  And after reading the first chapter I was “hooked” and absorbed all the way to the very last page.  Sometimes I was intrigued, other times I forgot I was reading a book, but living life with the authors, and other times I just plain laughed out loud, or shouted ‘Amen!’

It’s that kind of book, or may not so much a book as a couple of people sharing a pilgrimage with their congregations and learning how to relate to those outside the doors of their church.

The table of contents sounds more like practical experiences (which it is) rather than precepts and ideas about how to do evangelism, which it also is, but less painfully than usual.  As the chapter titles bear witness these pastors in real churches with all that means are “Unpacking Relational Evangelism,” as “Reluctant evangelists” who are “Learning Hospitality” by “Making Friends” and “Extending Invitations” while “Embracing Risk.”  But instead of precepts and concepts we have here the real experiences of people like us who are somewhere on the arc of “Servant Evangelism.”  The book is filled with actual experiences (both good and not-so-good) where the subjects are actually learning by doing.

I can see a pastor or pastors or small group leaders taking a small group through this book, and launching some real life experiments in honestly doing evangelism naturally and effectively.

Postscript: “To view the story of the cover photo (foot washing) and the Study Guide for the book, please visit our website: www.e3ministry group.com.  This book is the first resource produced by E3 Ministry Group.  We’re a team of experienced, creative, and innovative coaches and consultants with a passion for bringing renewal, vitality, and revitalization to God’s people and our congregations.  We’ve worked with churches both large (6000 people) and small (15 people) to offer collaborative guidance, customized solutions, and a “hands-on” partnership.”

I found this resource to be one of the most practically helpful and thoroughly honest books on the subject that I’ve come across in a long time.  I think you will too!

U.S. $13.95  Westbow Press, A Division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan

 

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