Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: Organic Outreach

Organic Outreach For Families: Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse
By Keven G and Sherry Harney
Zondervan, 2012
English, 192 pgs

In Organic Outreach for Families, Kevin and Sherry Harney share insights from the Scriptures and give practical advice from their own experience to help you learn how to transform your home into a lighthouse of God’s amazing grace.

The Harneys discuss five ways you can naturally share your faith with others:
  • Reaching your own children with the message of Jesus
  • Sharing God’s grace with your extended family
  • Raising your children to be beacons of light in their schools and in the neighborhood
  • Opening the doors of your home to make it attractive and welcoming
  • Shining the light of grace into your broader community
The Harneys balance a concern for developing your home into a safe, secure environment with the biblical mandate for believers to be salt and light in the world. Pastors and parents will discover creative ways families can become a natural and winsome presence in their schools, through community activities, and as a witness in their neighborhoods.
I requested this book from BookSneeze with the purpose of reading the middle section: Raising Children of Light in a Dark World, but I have received so much instruction from the whole book!
The first section, Reaching Your Own Family, really resonated with me because so many of my family are not Christians and I have been praying for them for so long. This book reminded me that each person comes at their own time and in their own way. Each person should be met where they are and related to in ways that are meaningful to them. It also reminded me that it's not up to me to save anyone. It's up to me to spread the seeds of the Gospel. I many only be one part of their salvation experience.

The second section, mentioned above, gives advice on raising our kids to know that their home is a safe place, to know that to know that our home has rules, to know that our home is a believing home where right and wrong are taught in accordance with God's Word. Our home can be a place where anyone who is hurting can be loved and consoled. Our home is a place where family, truth, grace and mercy are practiced daily. It is a place where we play together and pray together daily.

The third section, Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse, is focused on being a place in your community where people are comfortable. It's welcoming, it's loving and it's a place where the love of God is practiced for everyone. Impacting our neighborhoods is one of the major ways the Gospel can spread. There was a reason Jesus commanded the Disciples to GO first to their area, then out into the world.

As a pastor's family, our home is often a place that is seen as "off limits". A lot of people tell us that they don't want to bother us at home or "be in the way" or be here too much. But that's what we want! We want people coming into our home. We want to have meaningful relationships and conversations around the fireplace. There is a lot in this book that I'm going to practice and I really hope that this book is useful to you as well.

I received a copy of the book from BookSneeze for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

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