What to Read Wednesday in the house! I’m pressing pause on the back-to-school frenzy for a hot minute to share yet another incredible new book:
The Ministry of Ordinary Places.
Author Shannan Martin is an ordinary gal– an ordinary gal with an extraordinary grip on being real, being present, and being a good (literal & metaphorical) neighbor. Neighboring is kind of her jam, an obvious gifting…
Backing up a bit, tops among the 50+ books I devoured last year was Shannan’s debut, Falling Free. Managing to sneak onto her launch team yet again, I got my mitts on an Advanced Reader Copy* of her latest work, which has proven equally inspiring and unfussy. Shirking glamor and pomp, she refreshingly exhorts readers to simply “[wake] up to God’s goodness around [them].”
Shannan’s wise, humble; a true blue, honest cheerleader who reminds with grace that one needn’t be ‘called’ into full-time, fancy-pants ministry to advance the kingdom of God and take part in the Great Commission. As someone who once sold nearly every earthly treasure with plans of an overseas move and aspirations of sharing the Gospel in exotic locales abroad, I found Shannan’s message to be an important reminder that soothes the ordinary soul: Live and love and be intentional right where presently planted– in your own neighborhood and the ordinary messy places of raising kids and breaking bread and sharing fences and driving carpool.
Excerpted from the text:
“I want to stand ready, as Christ’s ambassador in my neighborhood, wearing grace, flesh, and skinny jeans. I want to belong, just as I am, and I want to get better at loving people for every good and puzzling thing they are.”
“As we open up our lives to those from whom we used to keep a safe distance, it changes everything. Our well-being becomes mashed up with that of our neighbors’, and this shifts how we think about our homes, our time, our money, and our ideas about everything from personal responsibility to success.”
“When our well-being gets snarled up with the well-being of our neighbors, when we’re truly glad for the house with the vast array of lawn ornaments and the loud music only makes us think of dancing, we’ve found our song.”
“As Christ followers, we are called to be long-haul neighbors committed to authenticity and willing to take some risks. Our vocation is to invest deeply in the lives of those around us, devoted to one another, physically close to each other as we breathe the same air and walk the same blocks… we’ll find our very lives in this calling, to be among people as Jesus was, and it will change everything. The details will look quiet and ordinary.”
You simply must pick up this profound but approachable book– pre-order today for fun bonuses and share in Shannan’s vision of ministering in ordinary places.
*Though I received a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review, all my ‘pinions are 100% the whole truth and nothing but the truth– so help me, Jesus.
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