As you become the person God intends for you to become, you will reach the people God intends for you to reach.
Some books grab your attention with a provocative title and cover image. Others will do that with thought stirring and soul gripping content. Authors Todd and Erin Stevens have magically crafted a spectacular book that is some how both.
While this isn’t a manual on how to acquire an exhibitionist, How to Pick Up A Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness is a manual for the church on how to love those that society has largely deemed unlovable. With witty humor and stories of personal experience from their time pastoring at Friendship Community Church and Nashville Strip Church, the Stevens tell the world how they have been able to love on the unloved in their community. Not in a theoretical way, but in a very real and refreshing way, the way that Jesus loved those around Him while He was on Earth. Imploring a simple “show and tell” format, the Stevens explore the way Jesus demonstrated the love of God the Father to everyone He met. And with that revelation in hand, the authors implore the whole body of Christ to live the way that their Lord did and continues to do; a life of love and acts of kindness.
What may seem unconventional to some people or completely irreverent or irrelevant to others when it comes to the ways in which we love other people, it is exactly what Todd and Erin Stevens are calling the body of Christ towards. But not just them, it was Jesus that said, “Love one another just as I have loved you (John 13.34).” The challenge is, will we pick up strippers and do other acts of kindness?
If your love isn’t surfacing in tangible ways by meeting the needs around you and lifting people towards becoming who God intended them to be, then it isn’t the kind of love Jesus demonstrated.
I’m not a slow reader by any means. I can usually get through a book in a week. However when it came to reading How to Pick Up A Stripper, it took me almost two weeks to finish. It wasn’t that it was a difficult book to read, it wasn’t particularly long or filled with lofty language. It took me so long to read because I had to stop every few pages out of conviction. What this book calls the church to, this radical love, is not a joke, some theological nicety or a gimmick. What the Stevens preach and live out is an authentic love that the Church as a whole is sorely missing. There is a need for more acts of kindness done with “no strings attached.” And honestly, it is missing in my own life.
It took me longer to read this book because I was constantly examining my own life and the life of my church. How can we live a love centered life like Jesus called us to? How can we love the community in a way that tells them that God loves them? While How to Pick Up A Stripper poked and prodded my spirit, it did more by giving tangible ideas that can be used in any community by any church body. It gave life to a soul that needed to be resurrected to a more loving and kindness-acting focused man.
I think this book is exactly what the Church has needed for a very long time. Whether it is read privately, for your own spiritual development, or read corporately, so that the church can move in a fresh avenue of God’s outpouring love, How to Pick Up A Stripper needs to be a foundational part of every church outreach.
I give How to Pick Up A Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness 5 out of 5 stars.
Being in a rush can turn an otherwise compassionate person into someone who is completely indifferent to suffering. What about your schedule needs to change for your beliefs to be translated into your behavior?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”