I read this book faster than I read most books I’m
interested in. I believe that has something to do with how good it was. I only
ever put the book down because I had to be responsible and do things like
actually work at my job. But while I read I wanted nothing else but to read
further. J.D. Greear has a great sense of humor of which I learned by reading
this book. He uses funny analogies and metaphors that made me actually laugh
But here is the thing, his purpose of writing the book is
never lost. He doesn’t take you on any useless tangents, and only continues to
build his case chapter by chapter.
If your heart is already set on sending useful leaders to go
and start new churches elsewhere, then you don’t need much convincing to follow
what J.D. talks about in this book. But not only will he convince you of that,
he will also show you why it matters and what happens with the church the
Most of the church planting effort in the world is trial and
error. You can feel called somewhere, but if there isn’t actual godly people
calling you, how do you know it’s actually a God-led conviction? Just like you
don’t know where God has gifted you spiritually until you try certain things,
you won’t know if it’s a totally God-led effort until you give it a shot. It
takes a bold, courageous, faithful soul to embark on such a journey.
Seemingly a huge part of the sending effort is to be led by
people who can lead well where they are. These people are fruitful
Christ-followers that have a heart for spreading the gospel somewhere other
than where they are at. Your church is ready to send when, if you were to send
some solid leaders elsewhere, there are more to take their place.
Another big point is, it’s about making disciples and not
just converts. We can get converts all day but if they don’t take their walk
seriously and start trying to spread the Gospel themselves, then you haven’t
actually won. The point is not to get a huge mega-church that is full of people
who love God, but to create an atmosphere where people who get saved want to go
get others saved, and eventually be able to be a part of starting another
church like the one that helped them meet the Lord. If while we reach people,
we eventually become a super-large church, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just not
the point, and it’s not the mission.
Jesus gave us a mission, and we know we ought to work our
hardest to accomplish it. Making disciples in the entire world is what we say
we shoot for, but do we actually take steps at accomplishing that goal?
The following is an excerpt from the Introduction:
“We live by losing. We gain by
giving away. What we achieve by building our personal platform will never be as
great as what God achieves through what we give away in faith.
It’s one thing to know these
things, to believe they are true. It’s another to implement them. That is what
this book is about. What does it look like to live sent – in your personal
life, in your ministry, or in the church that you lead?
I will warn you: It’s relatively
easy to nod our heads at this point and say, "Yes, like Jesus, we live by
dying.” But to go to the next step – to invest some of your most cherished
resources, or say goodbye to those whom you love as they go to begin something
new – that is hard, and it never gets easier. Yet it’s how God’s kingdom grows.
We gain by losing.“
All in all, I loved this book. I think it’s a good read
especially if you want to gain a goal or vision that is more long-term than
your current goals or vision.