Book Review: “A.K.A. Lost” (Sep-Dec 2005)

By Matt Dabbs

by Fred Peatross
September – December, 2005

a.k.a Lost
by Jim Henderson
(2005: Water Brook Press
140 pages, paperback)

The gospels record 132 contacts Jesus had with people. Six were in the temple, four in the synagogues, and 122 were out with the people in the mainstream of life.

In this new millennium the call has changed from ‘come-to-church’ to ‘come-to-Christ.’ Henderson’s a.k.a. Lost is no less than a gift to the Christ-follower who is fully cognizant of this dramatic shift in western culture. The onramps to outreach have changed and Henderson knows that.

a.k.a Lost doesn’t script, pitch, or propose a new ‘evangelistic program.’ It doesn’t suggest evangelism as something for the brave and bold, or an extraordinary feat reserved only for the extremely gifted. It’s simply ordinary. It’s as normal as asking questions and giving attention to the people you live, play, and work with. It’s doing the many things most of us already do but with a little more intentionality.

Every chapter is full of the “ordinariness” that should be built into caring and connecting with the people Jesus misses. Henderson emphasizes these values in the chapter, Count Conversations, Not Conversion. Here Henderson gives practicals on the nature and value of listening and small talk. He says, “It’s how people smell each other. Small talk is a delivery system for making sense of things. People change at a certain speed, the speed of ‘sense making.’”

The book only touches on the importance of relexiconing our Christian vocabulary. But it is certainly something that needs our serious consideration. The use of the word “lost” needs to be measured on the basis of what images are stored and recalled by the outsider when he hears himself called “lost.”

“Lost is final. Lost means defeat. Lost means all hope is gone.” (pg. 24)

Do we care enough to consider this?

In the last decade copious energy and time has been expended in retooling our worship assemblies. Like many, Jim Henderson realizes that a church building’s primary use should be in training loyal apprentice to step across faith borders and onto territory where those Jesus misses live by the code of their conduct. It’s time we give this mission equal time.

For those of us who think ‘missional,’ Jim Henderson has accomplished something few, if any, have done in years—write a practical, easy to read, relevant book on the nature of being missional in this new era.

Learn more about innovative ways of reaching a.k.a. Lost people at http://www.off-the-map.org/
New Wineskins

Fred PeatrossFred Peatross lives, works, romances his wife and exudes deep feelings of love, awe, and admiration for his Creator while living in the heart of Appalachia. For over two decades Fred has resided in Huntington, West Virginia where he has been a leader in the traditional church. He has been a deacon, a shepherd, and a pulpit minister. But his greatest love is Missio Dei.

Long before thousands of missionaries poured into the former Soviet Union Fred, in a combined effort with a Christ follower from Alabama planted a church in Dneprodzerhinsk, Ukraine. Today Fred lives as a missionary to America daily praying behind the back of his friends as he journeys and explores life alongside them. [Fred Peatross’ book Missio Dei - In the Crisis of ChristianityMissio Dei: In the Crisis of Christianity, reviewed in New Wineskins] You might also enjoy his previous articles Fellow Explorer, Sometimes Guide and Grieving Worship. He blogs at [Abductive Columns].

categoria commentoNo Comments dataFebruary 4th, 2014
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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1583 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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