In 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul urges the church, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” The church is also urged several times to help the poor and needy. For example, in Deuteronomy 15:11, “There will all always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” Mike Slaughter’s book Change the World Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus is a call for the church to unite, redirect, and “to proclaim the good news to the poor…to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1). Slaughter urges churches to become a “mission outpost, living out Christ’s ideals in today’s world.”
Slaughter, the Lead Pastor at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio, does not just read the Scriptures to the congregation – he lives them and encourages the congregation to also be “doers of the word.” His book is written in a straightforward manner using both examples from his personal experience and Scriptural commands. The book is seven short chapters with questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. Slaughter’s book is an excellent resource for pastors, ministry leaders, or anyone interested in being the change agent in the church.
I read this book as part of the reading program for the United Methodist Women’s Reading Program.