i originally posted this review of dan kimball’s new book when i read a pre-release copy in november. but the book is out now, and deserves attention (and a re-post). i highly, highly recommend it.
i read pre-release copy of dan’s newest book on the plane yesterday (the book releases in march). dan is really an evangelist at heart, imho — but that gets played out in such a gloriously different way than what ‘evangelist’ normally means to most of us, because dan is: 1. an introvert, 2. very conversant with the wily ways of 20-somethings, and 3. one of the 5 nicest people on the planet (i’m not sure who the other 4 are, but it seemed a bit of a stretch to say he’s ‘the nicest’). really, with dan’s first and second books (both of which have sold very well) called the emerging church and emerging worship, i’m really surprised this book wasn’t titled ’emerging evangelism’, since that’s really what the book is about.
but i do understand why dan wanted this title. it’s a reflection of the root conundrum he addresses in this book (incidentally, while this book is written for church leaders, a companion book, called i like jesus, but not the church: following jesus without following organized religion, written for a broader audience, is set to release later in 07). dan, through his regular and normal interactions with 20- and 30-somethings outside the church (he usually refers, in the book, to those under 35), noticed a thread (reflected in the title of the book). so dan formalized a bit of investigation, asking a dozen of these friends if they would be willing to have a series of discussions with him specifically for this book, to which every one of them agreed. these people are smart, savvy, generous, cultural creatives, living in santa cruz, california. the bulk of the book, filled with the wonderfully thoughtful and blunt voices from these interviews, is a chapter-by-chapter unpacking of the handful of common themes brought out in all the interviews, along with suggestions from dan about how churches can change in these areas.
really good and practical stuff. i know the leaders of my own church (who really do care about these issues) will devour this book. this is one of those books that all church leaders should read, whatever their church tradition, worship style, or denominational persuation.