How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness: Serving People Just as They Are - eBook  -     By: Todd Stevens
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How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness: Serving People Just as They Are - eBook

Thomas Nelson / 2014 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 9780529116895
ISBN-13: 9780529116895
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

The starting and ending points for all outreach have to be love. The most effective way to reach people for Jesus is through kindness outreach—showing God’s love in practical ways. This type of outreach is what Jesus modeled, is culturally relevant, and values people. The goal should be to invite people to take the next step from where they are.

Friendship Community Church, led by Pastor Todd Stevens, has experienced tremendous growth through acts of kindness. The church’s most radical kindness project is Nashville Strip Church, founded by Erin Stevens. Erin’s life changed when God told her to “go feed the strippers.” With home-cooked meals and gift bags, Erin shows dancers that God loves them. How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness includes the story of a dancer who has come to know Christ, left the strip club industry through Erin’s ministry, and is now serving with Erin to reach other strippers.

From feeding the homeless, to Easter egg hunts for special needs children, to ministering in a strip club, How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness provides exciting ideas for showing God’s love in practical ways.

Features include:

  • Stories from kindness outreach events, including Strip Church
  • Ideas for showing God’s love in practical ways
  • Inspiration to step out of your comfort zone to serve people 

Author Bio

Todd Stevens is the pastor of Friendship Community Church, one of the fastest growing churches in America. Friendship is known for finding creative ways to show God's love in the community, and over 90% of the regular attenders are involved in service opportunities. Todd is also a church consultant in the area of servant evangelism.

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  1. Fruitland, Idaho
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness is it?
    October 20, 2014
    Snyder's Soapbox
    Fruitland, Idaho
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    To answer the question, no this book isnt really about picking up strippers. It is about a Pastor (Todd Stevens) and his Churchs efforts to perform outreach ministry to all the people in his area no matter who they are with no strings attached. He focuses on what we might commonly refer to as friendship evangelism or, loving them into the kingdom. This focus is seemingly exclusive in regards to other forms of evangelism.

    The title of the book is misleading, but you have to ask, If you are a Christian, why are you buying a book about picking up strippers and then are disappointed when you find out it isnt really? It is a title that requires a second glance when browsing Christian titles. The book is definitely not about picking up strippers. It is however about outreach ministry and service to even the people you might look down on.

    While reading this book I noticed that the author chose to quote heavily out of the, Voice version of the Bible. This is a big red flag to anyone who is a serious student of the word. It put my guard up immediately and caused me to be even more critical than I usually am.

    Throughout the book Stevens is referencing things he and his Church have done and are doing. I know this is to encourage people to do something, but it comes across as, Blowing his own horn. Look what I/we are doing! I am giving Stevens the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it is just because he is enthusiastic about what he is doing?

    One of my concerns is that it took him about to the halfway mark before he had a clear gospel statement. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here as well. Perhaps he assumes that the readers already know the gospel since they are buying a book about outreach. On the other hand, it is a book about outreach.

    Im sensitive to the seeming discouragement of other types of evangelism because I do some of the other types of evangelism. It is like Stevens precludes the appropriateness of other types of evangelism as unkind and harmful. He discourages it. Instead he teaches to do many and varied services and kind acts. He claims that it is not very likely that a person will be able to have a relationship with someone they just encountered and shared the gospel with. He hints that our motives are not loving or effective. The last time I checked the gospel is the power unto salvation and salvation comes by hearing. Salvation doesnt come by having people give you stuff or by them being really super nice to you. It is God who does the saving. An angry man shouting the gospel from a soapbox does not save or condemn a person. They are already under the condemnation of sin. Gods gospel preached to the lost is what does the saving. This is probably my strongest criticism of the book. I can feel deeply for the person Ive just met on the streets, or at work. They can tell that I care and they continue to listen. Even if they dont respond in the affirmative I still keep in contact with them. When they do respond in the affirmative we develop a disciple/mentor relationship. I appreciate the outworking of love towards people, but his version seems to be a pragmatic formula for Church growth based on doing nice things to people.

    Stevens never really makes it clear if his wife was providing meals in the strip club during the operating hours. He talks about how his wife would bring catered meals and gifts in to the club. I would hope that his wife and the other volunteer ladies would not be in the club during business hours. Even women can have temptations to be avoided. Again, lets give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were there before and/or after business hours.

    Stevens tells a story about the Roman Catholic nun, Mother Teresa. In the story he makes it sound like she is a Christian or at least, worshipping the same God evangelicals worship. This is a very troubling issue. Mother Teresa was a self-admitted Universalist. Universalism is a heresy. These, in addition to other heresies of the Roman Catholic Church preclude them from being included as Christian. Stevens including the story in the way that he did demonstrates an imprecise ecumenism.

    There are superior books on outreach and evangelism. This book might be helpful to the freshly born again to help them move the focus off of themselves and on to being Christ-like in their love, but it also might confuse them as well. We dont want people to become works based in their soteriology. Keeping justification and sanctification clearly delineated will benefit the new believers. Throughout the book I just got the feeling that if you dont do it his way then you are mean and not showing the love of Jesus. I doubt this is what Stevens intended.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
  2. Bacolod City, Philippines
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Doing Christianity not just Believing
    October 6, 2014
    Simply Emmy
    Bacolod City, Philippines
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    What draw me to pick up this book on BookLook Bloggers is not the title but its subtitle "...And Other Acts of Kindness" and its description "Serving People Just as they are".

    Reading this book reminded me of Philip Yancey's What's So Amazing About Grace, my all-time favorite. Just at the same time I picked up this book to review, a friend recommended that I listen to Pictures of Grace, a podcast series by William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin), who by the way is the grandson of Billy Graham (Read Pastor Tullian's story).

    So, How to Pick Up a Stripper is already a push for me to live out what I have read and listened to and believe in. Todd and Erin offered practical insights and suggestions on how to be more kind especially to people who we think aren't like us, people who do not believe the same way we believe (yet) or worse, people who are considered to be less by society's judging standards.

    If you are someone who wants to go deeper in your personal relationship with God by being kind in this modern and sometimes hostile world, this book is for you. If you want to share the love of Jesus Christ and live out Christianity not just believe it in your mind, this book is recommended ( along with What's So Amazing Grace, of course). Because one can argue with theology, debate Scripture, or disagree with the truth of God and Jesus, but one cannot argue with acts of kindness that is true and with no strings attached. Everyone needs a lift whether we are aware of it or not. Even the simplest act of kindness can warm the heart, especially for the weary.

    Although there were a few pages that I find boring and dragging, the book is still highly recommended. It offers a lot of practical ideas for acts of kindness you can do personally or as a church community. To all those willing to hear more about a subject that is easy to grasp, but hard to live out - this book can help!
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness
    September 30, 2014
    Courtney
    "Umm... excuse me. What is this?"

    These words came out of my husband's mouth when he saw my most recent book sitting on the coffee table. After explaining what the book is about and how I came to acquire it, he seemed a bit less skeptical about its existence in our home.

    This book can definitely draw a crowd. The cover, the title, and the content all scream for attention. And they should! Todd and Erin Stevens attempt to convey ways in which the church can love individuals in our society that seem "unlovable" through the world's eyes through acts of kindness and love. I found this book to offer a refreshing take on loving our neighbors. My church, Veritas (in Columbus, OH) seeks to do just that on a daily basis. And some of our focus has been on those deemed "unlovable" by the world's standards, including strippers and prostitutes. Through the group She Has a Name, our church is trying to encourage and help women current involved in anti-human trafficking.

    Whether or not you are involved in ministry or in a non-profit organization that focuses on X, Y or Z, this book will help you to have a new perspective on what it means to love your neighbor and how to go about showing that love to other people. I highly recommend this book to all those willing to hear more about a subject that is easy to grasp, but hard to live out.
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    How To Pick Up A Stripper
    August 1, 2014
    ldesherl
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Do not be fooled by this book's eyebrow-raising title. The authors advocate a lifestyle that they call "kindness evangelism" among those whom Christian congregation traditionally have not included in our churches. Addressed to those who identify themselves as Christians who believe in Jesus, the authors write this book not to impart information or to entertain. They challenge us to lives of selfless, loving, service to our neighbors, no matter how they have treated us. Christ, the authors contend, using many examples of "kindness evangelism" from their own lives, will be more and more seen in us as we implement these principles laid out here.

    When I began reading this book, I thought this would be a work of a person who left the stripping industry, met Christ as Savior and Lord, and wrote this to inspire the Christian community to show Biblical love to those often looked on as "outsiders." It is indeed a challenge to sacrificial, loving service to those in our lives but is written by a Pastor and his wife. I found myself quite challenged by this book and by the rigorously Christian call to selfless commitment in all areas of my life, no matter what the cost in comfort, time, convenience or even money. This book is easy to read but not easy to apply to one's life! Finding nothing here that I didn't already know, the "lifestyle kindness evangelism" advocated by the Stevens is both easier and more challenging than traditional Christian service and evangelism model I have been taught. As I read, I found my mind forming "yes buts" and most (not all) my objections were addressed. Though the writing is interesting, conversational and appealing, the calls to action can be overwhelming without a grasp of God's enabling grace.

    As this is a limited book centered on outreach, there is little here about worship or discipleship. I wished that the authors had not placed the chapter on prayer at the end of the book. This chapter placement sends the wrong message about prayer and can drown out the Stevens' words about our need to make prayer and our relationship with God central to our outreach. Not only do I wish that they had placed this chapter at the beginning of this book, but I would have liked to see more stress on our own relationship with God and the need to be motivated and empowered by His grace. If you want to say in your comfort zone and see the local church as a place that exists for you, you will dismiss this book's message. But this book has a message that most in the Western Christian community need to read, share, and apply.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book by Booklook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.
  5. pa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An Amazing Book!!
    July 22, 2014
    lorealle
    pa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Last week, my fam and I went on a little vacation to the beach. If there is one thing this Mama loves, it's reading a book by the pool or the ocean. And I did just that every. single. day. This was my book of choice.

    Let me start out by saying this...I knew within the first 3 pages of this book that God was going to use it to change my life. How's that for a review?

    This book was a fun, down-to-earth read. Todd definitely has a sense of humor and I can so appreciate that! And I so love that he used normal, every day words. Goodness, I hate feeling like I need a dictionary beside me when I'm reading a book.

    If you are like me and you want to know how to reach your neighborhood with the love of Jesus, this book is for you. If you feel God is telling you to just go love on people right where they are, then this book is for you. If you feel like we need to SHOW people Jesus love rather than just telling them {although telling them is important too}, then this book is for you.

    In nine chapters, Todd and Erin challenge the reader to think about how their acts of kindness can make a difference for the Kingdom of God. This is because, as they point out: What we've found over and over is that by doing a simple act of kindness, which may not meet any obvious need, we often end up connecting with people on a much deeper level.

    Time and time again I found myself saying "Shut up, I've felt this same way!". I would read a page, get super excited and tell Joe he HAD to read it. My mind would fill with tons of ideas and my mouth would ramble on and on. So many ideas that I will be putting into effect.

    Read this book and you will be encouraged and motivated to think differently about how to share God's love with others in your neighborhood, workplace and maybe even family!

    This book was provided to me free of charge by Book Look in return for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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