OK, it’s confession time. So many times when I am places in public or around people I can be an introvert. Those of you that know me very closely may not necessarily see that because when I become comfortable with people, I will open up and talk to them. I think many people are that exact same way – especially when it comes to talking about God, the Bible, Jesus, etc. It’s almost like we are uncomfortable doing that unless we are in a situation where we feel very much at ease. I got a copy of “The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Walking alongside people who believe differently” by Mary Schaller and John Crilly from Tyndale to do a review of it. I find that this book very effectively addresses my issues in my opening sentences.
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**See all sections below for full detailed review**
How often do we feel uncomfortable when we are around other people who may not believe the same way we do. Sometimes, we either come across too harsh and turn others off to the point they tune us out. Other times, we are too shy and don’t seize the opportunities that God puts directly in our paths. “The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: walking alongside people who believe differently” by Mary Schaller and John Crilly directly addresses those very issues. This book covers how to create an environment and a relationship with others that causes them to naturally feel more comfortable and provides the opportunity to discover God through His Word together in a non-threatening environment. The nine “arts” are based on nine observed behaviors or approaches that Jesus had when interacting with people we read about in Scripture. The book is broken into four major parts each one taking you further into the process allowing you to share and discuss your faith without ending up in a heated Battle Royale. This book is written extremely well and very engaging. Each chapter ends with Discovery questions/topics to cause you to think and also Practice points that will challenge you to move forward with the process. This book is written kind of as an explanation of how “Q Place” works, which is a very unique way of seeing lives changed by discovering God’s Word together in a non-threatening or intimidating environment. This is a very practical and very highly recommended book for anyone who has a heart for others or wants to reach others for Christ, but never were quite sure how to do it effectively.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK
Type of Book: Christian Life / Evangelism
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (an imprint of Tyndale House Publishers)
Publication Date: May 1, 2016
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-1496405760
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book from is Christianbook.com. They have it for $12.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $15.99 but they do not sell directly from their website. See below for a breakout and links to the different prices from some major re-sellers. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.
Barnes & Noble ($13.92)
Typeface and Print:
The ease of reading this book was very good. There really is no reason for this particular book to be done in color. Good printing and a pretty opaque paper make this easy to read the text on every page.
OK, this is the part where I get to tell you about how I like or dislike this book in a detailed manner.
Ease of Use:
This book was very easy to read. With that said, it was a challenging book – but in a very good way. It helped me to reflect on encounters that I have every day that I don’t take advantage of. How often do we have the opportunity to talk to people in our daily lives, but we are unsure of how to do that. This book presents a simple and extremely possible manner in which we can do that very thing. With the Discover and Practice portion at the end of each chapter, we can easily move into this concept very easily.
Study Tools/Helpful & Informative:
The book is broken up into 4 main sections and 13 chapters. Below, is the listing of the contents. I do want to call out that the way that the authors presented the writing was done in an exceptional manner. Each chapter builds to the next one and gives such practical direction making this approach to engaging others in the Word actually an easy process. As many of you know, I do really like the Inductive Bible Study methodology and this book encourages the use of that as you go through the relationships and encounters with people in your life. Excellent!
Chapter 1 – The Heart and Habits of Jesus
Chapter 2 – Rediscovering Nine Relational Practices of Jesus
Part I – Getting Ready
Chapter 3 – The Art of Noticing
Chapter 4 – THe Art of Praying
Chapter 5 – The Art of Listening
Part II – Getting Started
Chapter 6 – The Art of Asking Questions
Chapter 7 – The Art of Loving
Chapter 8 – The Art of Welcoming
Part III – Keeping It Going
Chapter 9 – The Art of Facilitating
Chapter 10 – The Art of Serving Together
Chapter 11 – The Art of Sharing
Part IV – Ongoing Spiritual Conversations
Chapter 12 – Starting a Q Place
Chapter 13 – From Cups of Cold Water to Rivers of Living Water
About the Authors
Durability of Book:
This book is pretty much the typical softcover book. Paper for the body is perfectly fine, but does seem to have a nice feel in the hands.
MY CHRISTIAN REVIEWER RATINGS:
Below, we have the overall ratings that I would give to this particular book with a 1 to 10 range.
Quality: 9.2 – For a softcover book, I would say that this book should endure pretty typical compared to other softcover books.
Appearance: 9.0 – I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but this book felt very good in the hand as I was reading it. Not sure if it was the feel of the paper or what, but it did feel very nice. The print is very clean. Overall, the flow of the content was done extremely well.
Value: 9.9 – For the suggested retail price and what you get from a content perspective for this book, I would say that this is a very good value if you are honestly interested in reaching others and seeing people’s lives changed.
Innovation: 9.8 – The writing style of this book is extremely well done. It is very clear and each chapter provides multiple examples and direction on how to start using this approach. The Discover section and Practice section at the end of each chapter are short, yet very powerful sections. They cause you to look inward and challenge you to step out in an easy and progressive manner that will amaze you to see yourself grow, let alone those you are sharing with.
Other/Wildcard: n/a – There are no real wildcards to speak of in this book, so this will not be included in the average rating.
Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10
From the publisher’s website: Tyndale Momentum is an imprint of Tyndale House Publishers was started back in 1962 with the publication of Living Letters printing 2,000 copies. It was launched by Ken and Margaret Taylor and operated out of their dining room. Since then, privately owned Tyndale has grown significantly and publishes many Bibles and Christian resources like the Life Application Study Bible and novels such as the “Left Behind” series.
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