There’s a lot more to transformation than many people realize, and in some cases that transformation may even look like disruption. Your life does not stay the same when it’s transformed: it’s disrupted. When a community is transformed the status quo is disrupted. But if we wanted to maintain the status quo, we probably wouldn’t be worried about transformation.
Christ followers are generally aware of the transformational power of the gospel on their lives, even though we might not call it disruptive, but that’s exactly what the gospel does to individuals, it disrupts their way of thinking, their way of doing, and their way of life. Even recognizing the impact that the gospel has on one’s life, most people don’t or won’t take it to the next level and look at how the gospel disrupts communities.
And that’s where Mac Pier stepped up to the plate with his book A Disruptive Gospel: Stories & Strategies for Transforming Your City (Baker Books, 2016).
Just like people, cities have different personalities, different values, and different needs. For each of them there are different things that excite them and get their attention. What works in one place might not, probably won’t, work in another. At least not when it comes to specific plans and programs. But there is one constant, that disrupts and transforms in any situation, and that is the gospel.
As a teenager in South Dakota some decades ago, Pier was instrumental in disrupting his community’s ethos by pulling members of the community together for different things like before school or Saturday evening Bible studies. And in the years since then he has worked with people around the globe to find alternatives to the darkness that so often prevails.
This book covers movements in several countries on several continents and shows just how disruptive (i.e. transformational) the gospel is. If you’re looking for a one size fits all answer, or a guaranteed to change your community program, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for ideas that will spur your imagination and remind you of the power of the gospel, then this book is for you. The ideas and examples offered here might just be the impetus you need to start a movement that, through the gospel, through the might of the Word of God, might be the catalyst for a total transformation of the community in which you live. A movement which brings people into the life-giving relationship with the Savior.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a written review.