I met Dan King (perhaps better known as @bibledude) through the Idea Camp, a unique tribe of idea-makers who collaborate for good in their neighborhoods, and around the world. Dan’s love for his family and for the church to rise up and become the force for good that God intends stood out to me as we shared a meal together.

The title, The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty-Fighter, captures the essence of what Dan seeks to do with this book — to move people from lukewarm church attending to passionately following Jesus to serve those He loves. For a more in-depth conversation on why Dan wrote this book and what he hopes to accomplish through it, read this interview I conducted with him for ChurchLeaders.com.

Although Dan considers himself an “unlikely” missionary and an “ordinary” Christian, it’s obvious from reading his story that his compassion and willingness to trust God is extraordinary. The combination of travel journals, honest personal reflections, and conversational style helps Unlikely feel like spending time talking with a friend — which, in my opinion, is a much better approach in trying to motivate people to action than guilt or haranguing.

Dan’s firsthand narrative lowers the barrier for people to join in the redemptive mission of God wherever they see Him at work — you don’t have to be an expert or a “professional” pastor to serve Jesus and the people He loves. God can definitely use your gifts, talents, and experience in ways that you might not immediately imagine, just as Dan had a chance to leverage his background in corporate training to make a difference in the lives of people halfway around the world.

One of my favorite parts of Unlikely is the praxis section at the end of each chapter, actions steps designed to help move Dan’s insights from the realm of good ideas into compassionate action. As Dan writes in the introduction

I want you to want your life to be transformed too. You may not end up in Africa like I did. You may end up finding more purpose right at home in your own backyard or your office or your neighborhood or your school district. The location isn’t as important as doing the things that will allow God to use you to the fullest.

I appreciate Dan’s encouragement to lean into community as God works on our hearts individually, whether it’s through using social media platforms such as WordPress or Facebook, talking with a friend about how God is leading, or connecting with an existing small group ministry.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a free review copy. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”