Monday, January 23, 2017

The Seven Stories That Shape Your Life by Gerard Kelly

Being a “missional” church is a popular concept right now. But what does that mean to Christians? How does that give us purpose and meaning to our lives? To help us understand missional thinking, Kelly looks at seven stories from the Bible in a somewhat nontraditional way. Each one identifies an aspect of our place in God's intention for the world.

The seven stories are creation (the starting point for understanding who God is, who we are, how the two might be connected), vocation (called to be unique partners in God's purposes), liberation (seeing injustice through the passion of God, not our own), formation (shaped into God's people through worship), limitation (exile, experiencing loss as part of the purposes of God), incarnation (God's story is the essence of our story), and restoration (God's plan for the world through the blessing of the church).

Kelly has helped me understand what missional thinking is. “It is the discovery, development and deployment of the gifts God has given to each of us and to all of us.” (17) Each of us has a unique part in God's plan. We must understand who God is and what He wants and then receive the tools and training to connect with the mission of God in our world.

Kelly's book is a bit involved. A layman may have a tough time making it through the book and I would suggest it only if the person has an interest in understanding what missional thinking is and how it applies to his or her own Christian walk. This book seems suited best for church staff or leadership boards wanting to develop their own theology of mission. The book could also be a resource for a sermon series.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Gerard Kelly is co-founder, with his wife, of the Bless Network, a movement committed to God's mission on mainland Europe. He lives in Normany, France, where Bless has a church plant and training base. He is a popular speaker and the author of eighteen books. You can find out more about the ministry at

Monarch Books, distributed in the U. S. by Kregel, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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