Difference Makers: An Action Guide For Jesus Followers (Grand Rapids: BakerBooks, 2013) by M. Scott Boren, Foreword by Scot McKnight
Scott Boren writes, “Most difference makers have more in common with George Bailey than the heroes of The Avengers.” Just ask the folks in good ole Bedford Falls. One ordinary life can make an extraordinary difference!
If you’ve ever felt like you’re not making a difference where you live, or you’re just not real sure how to engage your neighborhood and community for Christ, then I believe that Difference Makers can help you and your church.
Difference Makers is written in forty short chapters that can be read as a 40-day study or in larger sections. Each section concludes with a suggested activity. There is even a study guide at the end that includes an icebreaker, focus Scripture, and discussion questions. It’s ideal for small groups.
Difference Makers offers practical ways for making a Kingdom difference in your local neighborhood and community.
Do you struggle to know how you can bring change around you? Does it seem like you don’t have any extra time in your schedule? Do you feel like you’re all alone and the task is too daunting? Get this book!
One of my favorite chapters in Difference Makers is ch. 16 on Paying Attention to the Spirit. God is always at work around us.
“The Spirit moves, but reading what the Spirit is doing requires that we pay attention to the whispers and nonverbal cues. By simply being attentive to the mystery of what God is up to in those around us, we discover the hidden ways that redemption is being woven into the fabric of life” (p.88).
Difference Makers challenges us to look beyond the surface in order to think in a “deeper” way when it comes to our neighborhood.
- What is positive and therefore calls for a response of support (e.g., a local battered-women’s home)?
- What is a natural part of life and therefore calls for redemption and use for God’s kingdom (e.g., vacant buildings that resulted from a recession)?
- What is unacceptable and therefore calls for subversion (e.g., hungry, undocumented families)?
- What is negative and therefore calls for active resistance (e.g., sex slavery)?
And in ch. 20, Paying Attention to the Routines, Scott writes:
“While books, sermons, and concepts about God’s love can be helpful, we become difference makers as we listen to God and pay attention to where he is at work in the routines of life. And as we pay attention to these routines, the life of making a difference gets inside of us. It becomes more and more who we are” (p104-105).
Scott reminds us all that what we do really counts for the Kingdom, more than we know. His book will encourage you to seek out ways to make a difference as Jesus followers motivated by a sincere love for others. This is a book you will want to read and discuss with others in community.
M. Scott Boren has been working with churches to help them develop effective community through small groups for more than twenty years. He is a trainer, consultant, and founder of The Center for Community and Mission.
Scott has authored Introducing Missional Church, Missional Small Groups, and The Relational Way. He shares life with his wife, Shawna, and their four children. They currently serve at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN.
Scott can be reached at www.mscottboren.com.
D.D. Flowers, 2013.