Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How To Pick Up a Stripper by Todd and Erin Stevens

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.
Features include:

  • 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 

My Review: How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness is a book that I would love to see more Christians read. When Jesus told us to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15), many people seem to think that means foreign missions. My passion is more for local missions, and I loved reading the various ideas AND reminders to love others as Jesus loves us. Many of the ideas mentioned in the book are not new ones, but each may be one that a reader has not considered. Or, they may spawn new ideas for your church, family, or for you to consider on your own. They range from simple acts of kindness to major 'step out of your comfort zone' projects. The point is that YOU may be the only example of Jesus Christ that someone encounters and your words and example make an impact.

The book is written in a conversational style that was helpful, inspirational, and, at times, humorous. On one page I would be nearly in tears due to a person who had made a decision to follow Jesus or the actions of the community of believers to reach out to people, and on the next would be laughing out loud at something Todd had written. The title of the book alone was enough to convince me that this was written by someone who shared my sense of humor, and was more like the person I want to be. Great book and one I definitely recommend to others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CRF, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Todd and Erin Stephens were interviewed by Scott McCausey on Christian Devotions Speak UP in June. Listen to the podcast here.
In the interview, Erin mentions The Voice Bible. I reviewed that a couple of years ago. You can read my review here.

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