By Todd and Erin Stevens
Thomas Nelson, 2014
English, 224 pgs
The starting and ending points for all outreach have to be love. The most effective way to reach people for Jesus is through servant evangelism—showing God’s love in practical ways. This type of outreach is what Jesus modeled, is culturally relevant, and values people. The goal should be to invite people to take the next step from where they are.
Friendship Community Church, led by Pastor Todd Stevens, has experienced tremendous growth through acts of kindness. The church’s most radical servant evangelism project is Nashville Strip Church, founded by Erin Stevens. Erin’s life changed when God told her to "go feed the strippers."
With home-cooked meals and gift bags, Erin shows dancers that God loves them. How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness includes the story of a dancer who has come to know Christ, left the strip club industry through Erin’s ministry, and is now serving with Erin to reach other strippers.
From feeding the homeless, to Easter egg hunts for special needs children, to ministering in a strip club, How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness provides exciting ideas for showing God’s love in practical ways.
- Stories from servant evangelism events, including Strip Church
- Ideas for showing God’s love in practical ways
- Inspiration to step out of your comfort zone to serve people
This is an incredible book. I was hesitant about reading it simply because of the title and the picture on the cover. Silly reason, I know. I'm glad I picked it though. I read it in two days because the book is just that good!
The basis of everything we do in reaching someone is love. We have to love people enough to want to share the gift of God's grace. It makes me think of the Penn Gilette video where he asks "how much do you have to hate someone to not want to share your God with them?"
There are a lot of practical things described that you can implement in your own life or church. Each chapter ends with questions for discussion so this could also be used as a Bible study guide. I'd love to see that church bulletin announcement!
I like that they make a difference between servant evangelism and acts of kindness. They can be the same thing, but not in all cases. Buying someone's lunch isn't the same as mowing their lawn. They can both be from the same "heart place" but they're a different kind of action.
The author has a really excellent chapter about generosity. The only thing that confused me was that the chapter on prayer was last. That, to me, should have been the start.
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