Jon Acuff’s new book, Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters, has the longest subtitle of any book published in the last 32 years.
But even with all those words on the cover, I was skeptical. Jon’s a youngish guy and pretty well known as a satirist. (No that’s not a typo for Satanist, although some who’ve been ridiculed by his web series and book, Stuff Christians Like, might not agree)
There are so many self-help books out there. We don’t need pep-talks, and people in your church don’t need more pats on the back. Are we tracking?
But there are two solid takeaways that make Start worth checking out:
This book delivers in that Jon’s perspective of life is fresh, raw and, surprisingly, counter to all the “you can do it” messages out there. Here’s an example:
One of the worst things you can do is trying to find your purpose in life. Nothing cripples you like trying to “find your purpose,” or “figure out your dream,” or “name your passion.”
Huh? I though life was all about purpose? Acuff turns the typical message on its head in order to help us actually accomplish something.
There are more stacks of meaty ideas and practical challenges. The writing is fun and very well done (something I did expect).
For Your Church
Like you and I, churches are living organisms, and these organisms love to whiteboard about purpose, vision and ideas, right? We don’t need more meetings—we need to change our mindsets about “doing stuff” and start.
This book is a must-read for change agents inside church offices, but would also make a great team study, applying the same insights to focusing all our programs and initiatives. It will also challenge individual team members to focus on what they bring to the table at your church.
For groups with healthy dynamics, this book would make an ambitious, but rewarding small-group study as well.
Buying this book is a no-brainer. It will sharpen your outlook personally, and spill over into your ministry work—as far as you want to take it.
- Check out our 2010 interview with Jon Acuff.
- Buy a copy of Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters.