Spark: Transform Your World, One Small Risk at a Time
Spark - you can ignite it or extinguish it
Jason Jaggard's book is a relatively quick an easy read. However, his writing style is not typical. Rather than the usual paragraphs and transitions, his style is more reminiscent of the book of James where the author has a series of thoughts, which may or may not be connected, that he is trying to get across to the readers. That said the author provides many insights which can be helpful, if readers take them to heart and apply them. Some of these include:
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Leadership is impact and everyone impacts those around them in some way. What impact do you make?
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Character is a defining mark and our character is defined by our impact.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Jesus taught that all who desire to be extraordinary human beings must serve others.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Today, your actions affect only a small number of people, but thatÃ¢ÂÂs now. Tomorrow things will change and now turns into tomorrow quicker than you think.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ ItÃ¢ÂÂs not enough to know the information; you have to move to application. To make the move you need to have will.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Good is not the absence of evil; it is the opposite of evil. People fixate on removing the negative influences in their lives, but they donÃ¢ÂÂt fill the void with anything positive.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ We should stop living lives of convenience and comfort and focus on living a life of meaning.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢ GodÃ¢ÂÂs favorite gift is to give us the opportunity to serve others.
These and other insights prod readers to think, evaluate, and re-evaluate all of the things they are involved in and to ponder what small risks they may take, initially by themselves, and then with others, to make both their lives and the world a better place.
Think of this book like the first step on the journey, but the final destination will the one you choose.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing as part of the Blogging for Books Program in exchange for a fair and honest review.
November 2, 2013
Good introduction to risk taking
Jason JaggardÃ¢ÂÂs book Spark walks the reader through the importance of being able to answer: Ã¢ÂÂWhat is one risk I can take this week that either makes me a better person or the world a better place?Ã¢ÂÂ ItÃ¢ÂÂs a challenging read, not in the sense of linguistics or grammer, but with what it does to you on the inside. It forces the reader to take a step back and see just how Ã¢ÂÂin shapeÃ¢ÂÂ their life really is. Essentially, a spark is the ignition behind a bigger change, a chance for us to use our God-given gifts and abilities for the benefit of others.
Risk-taking (and in a more Christian sense Ã¢ÂÂKingdom advancementÃ¢ÂÂ) is all about flexing and exercising our will to do so. When God prompts us to take a risk (pray for that person, give them money, accept this person into your home, share a meal with that family) and we ignore it, it really is no wonder that we stop hearing God prompt us to take risks.
Risks donÃ¢ÂÂt have to be big; in fact Jaggard says that they shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be. He defines good risks as: immediate, controllable, challenging, and positive. Good risks are time sensitive, should engage our imagination, and stretch us to grow.
As a chronic reader, I understand JaggardÃ¢ÂÂs critique of being over educated. Our problem, in his words, is not being undereducated. In reality, we have the opposite problem: we are overeducated. Our problem lies not in our access to information, but in our ability to use and apply it.
Ã¢ÂÂWe keep learning, but we keep missing the reality that we possess the God-given capability to translate what we know into how we live. Nine times out of ten, we know the right thing to do, but we lack the will to carry it outÃ¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ (page 73)
In this book, Jaggard provides practical steps forward as well as an encouraging writing style. He is engaging and insightful and does a nice job of convincing the reader that they actually can make a difference in the world.
Bottom line: Definitely worth a read, especially if you can get a five week Spark Group going and find a huddle of people willing to answer that all important question, Ã¢ÂÂWhat is one risk I can take this week that either makes me a better person or the world a better place?Ã¢ÂÂ
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the BloggingForBooks program offered by WaterBrook Multnomah publishing. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.
June 5, 2013
Although the author has a nice style and a potentially good message, the book is incoherent and patchy. It is a nice read, but nothing really settles. As the author himself states it in the book, he is an entertaining speaker (and writer), but afterwards it is hard to remember what exactly was the point. Fortunately the back of the book provides a clue, which is something like this: change your world by taking one small risk at a time each week. Think about this in a quasi-religious context.
December 5, 2012
You cannot read this book and stay the same.
Spark is not your average "self-help" book. I'm not even sure you can classify it that way.
Jason writes real and raw.
The whole point of the book is to learn to take little risks everyday that are based on two questions,
what can I do today to better myself?
What can I do today to better the world?
Jason shares a lot of stories in this book which will help keep your attention. He also helps you see what risks look like by sharing some that he has taken before.
You cannot read this book and stay the same.
I was challenged the entire time, but more than that I actually did some of the things I was most afraid of doing after reading through chapters 1-4 (which are superb).
If you're looking for an easy read that will challenge you and help you live life a little better for the glory of God then I suggest you pick up this book. It's so good.
Note: I received this book for free from the publisher.
November 16, 2012