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I am so thankful for the opportunity to read and review this book. My husband, as the pastor of our church, has been teaching that sharing the gospel with your family and friends should be a natural part of daily living. In Organic Outreach for Families, Kevin & Sherry Harney give practical advice for doing exactly that.
The goal of their book is to encourage and equip you to reach your own family with the gospel, then to create a home that is a lighthouse of truth for the world around you.
I greatly value the local church for worship and discipleship but, for too long parents have depended solely on church programs to evangelize and disciple their children and youth. I know many people who don't understand why their grown children don't attend church anymore. I truly believe it is related to a gospel focus not being at the center of their home life.
"Something is very wrong if we reach our neighbors with the love of Jesus but our children feel forgotten and marginalized. We have confused our priorities if we invest more time in our church than we do in our own children." (17)
After thoroughly discussing the priority of reaching your family with the gospel, the authors transition into creating a home that is that is welcoming not because it is physically attractive but because it is a safe haven filled with love, prayer and fun.
Too often people expect churches to be a community center of programs and events in the hope that people searching for God will come through their doors to find Him. In contrast, the Harneys suggest that our homes and our family's involvement in the community be the natural place people see the hope of Christ lived out.
I appreciate how the Harneys are gentle and kind in helping us rethink our approach to outreach and evangelism, unlike some parenting or outreach books that come across as bossy and finger pointing. At the end of each chapter they give practical ideas to move your family toward "becoming a lighthouse". They also include testimonies from their sons of the effectiveness of the organic outreach lifestyle in their own home.
They have clearly done much research and study on parenting and personal evangelism as they quote many well known writers as well as personal friends who have lived out the truths they are promoting. My only complaint of this book would be the over use of the words "organic" and "lighthouse" - but I get it, that's their theme.
This book has been encouraging and enlightening to me as I have been reminded about the great responsibility I have to my children in sharing the gospel with them. I have also learned about making my home a refuge for my kids and welcoming to those I hope to reach with the gospel in my community.
*Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
For more information on Kevin & Sherry Harney check out their websites at: