The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns

I recently finished reading The Hole in Our Gospel by World Vision president, Richard Stearns.  The timing for reading this book is quite interesting as my wife and I get ready for our trip this summer to Kenya for short-term missions working with CMF International and Hope Partnership in the Mathare North slums of Nairobi.  Stearns definitely challenges the reasons for going on such a trip and for our church to be involved with such a ministry.

This book is a must read for all American Christians and American church leaders.  Stearns, who left a lucrative and successful career of corporate leadership to take the president position of World Vision, presents a challenge to American Christians and churches that they may be missing a major part of what God expects of us.  He provides an honest reflection of his own continuing struggle to grab hold of his responsibility to take care of the poor, the orphans, and the widows as commanded in the gospel.

After sharing the details of his own transition to World Vision, Stearns lays out the facts of the poverty found around the globe.  He discusses the facts related to sickness (including HIV Aids, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases), hunger, and deaths found in the poorest sections of the world.  He discusses the growing disparity between the rich and the poor of the world.  And he unveils the Biblical call to respond to these injustices.

He leaves the reader with the challenge to step up and fill the “Hole in our Gospel” by finding ways to do our part in offering our time, talents, and resources to live out the gospel in our own lives and to share it with others in tangible ways.

I’m excited, because I see what our church is doing in Kenya, Haiti, and Mexico, as we come along side missionaries and communities to establish long-term relationships and to have long-term impact.  I’m excited to see where God will be leading me personally as I continue to process the challenges of this book, this trip, and the gospel message.

Stay tuned…I’ll try to process some of this out loud here.  Until then, consider picking up a copy of this book and reading it for yourself.  Let me know what you think.