The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns.
I love the availability and accessibility of this book, love how it helps me see Jesus, His world, and the plight of most of the people populating it. Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision, pens an almost memoiresque book, sharing his journey from upper echelon corporate executive to lamenting over those ravaged by poverty and disease.
A stunning reminder. A wake up call. A solid exegesis of Scripture.
What I particularly found compelling was Stearns’ journey from a comfortable life. In every way, he smacked of a successful Christian person in America. A big, fat job. A stone house in the country. Kids in Christian schools. A country club membership. A faithful supporter of church and missions. A good citizen. A worshipper.
And then a recruiter asked him if he’d be willing to be considered for the president of World Vision job. He balked. Yet the recruiter persisted with this question: “Are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?”
Hearing the story of his subsequent praying, wrestling, and eventually moving across the nation to take the position really ministered to me personally. Why? We were missionaries to France for a few years and are now on safe ground in the USA, but I feel very comfortable in suburbia. When I read his words, something stirred in me. A flicker of desire ignited. It had been deadened in the aftermath of following Jesus wholeheartedly only to crash and burn.
Perhaps, perhaps God will call us again.
But beyond Stearns’ own wrestling and moving out of his comfort zone is the idea of the gospel, the whole gospel, not the prosperity gospel full of holes (but full of material blessings). It’s a gospel that cares for the poor. That seeks to be last. That loves the little ones.
If you call yourself a Christ follower, you need to read this book, need to saturate yourself in the gospel that is whole, need to let Him shine his light on your life, exposing your own holes.