“Be the Message” Book Urges Believers to Say Less, Do More


NYT Bestselling Authors Kerry & Chris Shook’s New ‘Be the Message’ Urges Believers to Say Less, Do More

“We’re blown away seeing people and groups make this a New Year’s project.” – Pastor Kerry Shook / BeTheMessage.org

New York Times bestselling coauthors Kerry and Chris Shook think Christians talk too much.

Americans are drowning in messages and so is the church, the husband-and-wife team say in their new book, Be the Message, also a New York Times bestseller, and from WaterBrook Press. “The U.S. has 350,000 Christian congregations and most of them have a website. Amazon lists 159,000 Christian-living books. Add Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more . . . and Christ’s message can become just one more slogan.”

The two nationally known leaders of Woodlands Church, with four campuses north of Houston, point to Christ’s mandate to give our lives for others. “We’re giving a message instead of our lives,” the Shooks say.

Just as the combination challenge/how-to in “One Month to Live: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life” became a 2008 New York Times bestseller, Be the Message calls for this generation to lose the soundbites, quit hiding behind words, and and let their lives speak. (Many groups will start the New Year with Be the Message.)

Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren, whose “Purpose Driven Life” was similarly simple and disruptive, wrote the foreword. In the book, the Shooks lead readers through the “be the message” journey from understanding “the great disconnect,” to holy disturbance, to the message/person the world cannot explain, to how we can know our life message.

“This is our journey of the last few years,” Chris Shook explains. “As our words gave way to action, our thinking changed and so did how we live. We’re seeing profound effects in our family, our church and our community.”

In the book, and across Woodlands Church, people are living out St. Francis’s counsel to, “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” In a child’s death, through personal pain, in hard circumstances, even in how we handle success, “messages” give way to Christ’s presence.

Chris Seay, pastor of Houston’s groundbreaking Ecclesia Church says Be the Message tackles “one of the most important theological distinctions of the Christian faith–the incarnation–and gives us real direction.” Matthew Barnett, cofounder of Los Angeles’ Dream Center, calls the new book “a guideline to living a Christ-centered life.” Former Catalyst president and author of “The Catalyst Leader,” Brad Lomenick, describes Be the Message as “a powerful biblical tool that will help you reduce the gap and truly come alive in your leadership and life.”

Do Christians overtalk and under serve? The Shooks nod: yes. And they, their church, and a groundswell of readers–many of them to start a New Year of service–want their lives to say the most.

To learn more about Be the Message, visit: BetheMessage.org

Kerry and Chris Shook founded Woodlands Church, north of Houston, in 1993. Since then the multi-campus congregation has grown to more than 18,000 people and is active in ministries to the poor and powerless. Woodlands Church also has one of the largest fair-trade/direct-trade stores in the country, aiming to lift generations out of poverty with the power of hope. Thousands of people in more than 200 countries tune in weekly to Pastor Kerry’s televised broadcasts. The Shooks’ first book, One Month to Live, is a New York Times best seller. Kerry and Chris have been married 30 years and have four grown children. www.fotw.org

SOURCE: Lovell/Fairchild

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