Average Joe: God's Extraordinary Calling to Ordinary Men
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Multnomah Books / 2011 / Paperback

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Average Joe: God's Extraordinary Calling to Ordinary Men

Multnomah Books / 2011 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW423078

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Product Description

Drawing examples from his own life and the Bible's "average Joes"---including Joseph, Peter, Stephen, and Jesus, a carpenter's son---Meeder reveals the admirable qualities of "ordinary" men who live largely in the shadows yet demonstrate faithful integrity in work, marriage, family, church, and community. Includes a small-group discussion guide. 192 pages, softcover from Multnomah.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1601423071
ISBN-13: 9781601423078

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Publisher's Description

"What is happening to my life?"
Have you ever honestly asked yourself that question? As young boys, we dreamed of being pilots, firefighters, doctors, and cowboys. Now we’re older, with a wonderful wife and kids, as well as a mortgage, a minivan, and a fulfilling but not-so-glamorous job. What happened? All the dreams that once inspired us have evaporated into traffic jams, computer screens, bills, and deadlines. Why is life so ordinary?
If you think your life is nothing special, take a look at it through God’s eyes.
The revealing truth is that God chooses "ordinary," faithful men to do His most important work—regular guys like Peter the fisherman, David the shepherd, Stephen the waiter, Gideon the farmer, Paul the tentmaker, and even Jesus the carpenter. In this engaging book, Troy Meeder blends stories about biblical characters and contemporary men to show that an "average-Joe" life, an "ordinary" existence, shapes a man’s integrity, moral stability, resolve, and strength.
The world desperately needs an army of "average Joes." Like you.
"Troy Meeder’s heart-felt accounts from both his own personal experience and those of friends and family touch a raw nerve in your soul…. Average Joe reminds us that living a life focused on faith, family, and friends is what makes a man exceptional."
—Rick Wiggers, average Joe and account manager
Includes a study guide for use by men’s groups.

Author Bio

Troy Meeder is co-founder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit facility for abused children and horses based in Central Oregon. After a career in corporate America, he served as a youth pastor. Troy’s wife, Kim, is the author of Hope Rising, Bridge Called Hope, and Blind Hope—books that share stories of people dramatically influenced by their ministry. (www.CrystalPeaksYouthRanch.com)


Troy Meeder's new book, Average Joe, is an interesting addition to the world of men's spiritual literature. Meeder uses various stories from his own life and from the lives of impactful men who have shaped him. The reader will read accounts from gardeners, cowboys, soldiers, and pastors. The book focuses how an “average Joe” is the kind of man whom God needs for His kingdom.

Meeder offers some very honest views of men and their roles. He admits that as a fifty-something cowboy, he isn’t afraid to tell his opinions truthfully and bluntly. His open, conversational style is friendly and creates a connectedness between the author and the reader. The main content is split into three sections, where each chapter offers ideas that fit neatly into the overall heading, giving specific and easy-to-understand examples. A final plus is the study guide at the back, providing a few reflection questions and a recap of each chapter’s main points.

Despite Meeder's strong points, his book often lacks a fresh approach to this topic. There are a number of points where his "average Joe" theme seems to be shoehorned into his points, or forgotten entirely. Many chapters feel unnecessarily padded, or the opposite, too short to make their point well enough. The examples he uses are interesting, but they seem more like affectionate stories than spiritual examples. Meeder adds spiritual elements to them, but they often seem strained.

Average Joe is in no way a bad book. Meeder does make solid spiritual points and shares powerful stories from his life. Yet, despite its strengths, Average Joe is a victim of its style. The content is generic, and most of his points seem like they’ve been said before, or are just common sense. Meeder makes a valiant effort, but ultimately comes a little short. I would recommend this book to seasoned men of the church, mostly those in the thirties and up. Average Joe is good, but there are better books out there related to male role modeling. – Todd Naevestad, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Average Joe

"In celebrating ’the average Joe’ with remarkably compelling stories, Troy Meeder proves that there’s really no such thing as an average Joe and that the closer he gets to Jesus, the less average any Joe will seem or be. Every man will be used greatly by God if he allows himself to be broken and shaped into the Lord’s image, no matter how unheralded
his title or setting."
—Fred Stoeker, coauthor of Every Man’s Battle

"Men love to succeed, and we run from anything that has a high probability of failure associated with it. Rather than heap a bunch of guilt on guys, Troy has collected stories and reflections that most men will relate to—and which inspire us to consider what we’re living for. Sharing from his own life as an average Joe, Troy suggests ways we can reframe
how we’re measuring success—and make the most of life. I’m really glad he wrote this book and will be giving a copy to each of my two college-age boys!"
—John Fuller, vice president, Focus on the Family

"Troy Meeder’s heartfelt accounts from both his own personal experience and those of friends and family touch a raw nerve in your soul. More than once I found my eyes welling up—sometimes because of the sincerity of the story, other times because I realized it was me in the story. Average Joe reminds us that living a life focused on faith, family, and friends is what makes a man exceptional."
—Rick Wiggers, average Joe and account manager

"Troy Meeder speaks prophetically to God’s favorite group of men, which He likes to use to foment spiritual evolutions: average Joes. This book echoes the blueprint in the book of Acts, where God fills and forms ordinary men with a powerful spiritual word for their time as well as liberates them from synthetic, broken male culture into an authentic, powerful life in Christ."
—Kenny Luck, president of Every Man Ministries, author of the God’s Man Series, and men’s pastor of Saddleback Church

"Troy Meeder nails it. Average Joe is a must-read for any guy who questions whether his life can make a difference in the world. Honest and straightforward, Troy reminds us that being ’average’ does not equate with mediocrity and that with God nothing is impossible."
—Eric Close, actor, director, CBS

"Real heroes are desperately needed in our society today. Troy Meeder’s book serves as an inspiration to any man who doubts his significance and desires to be a hero in God’s eyes."
—Ryan Dobson, author, speaker, and host of Grounded Radio

"An excellent read—like having a cup of ’joe’ with your best friend and being infused with hope and destiny! I know it is time for ’iron to sharpen iron,’ but this takes true courage. Troy Meeder dynamically opens this realm up in himself. Going through the study guide gave me the give and take I needed to feel as if Troy and I were truly looking into each other’s heart. We men need to require more of ourselves, and this means we must take the chance and go deeper. After reading Average Joe, I face life with a new focus and purpose."
—Rafael Olgine, average Joe and safety specialist

"This book is dynamite! If you are an average Joe, Troy will biblically blow up the lie that your existence and your life are not significant. And if you think you’re not an average Joe, then you have an even deeper problem! Either way, this book is strong medicine that counters diseased thinking. The best men’s book I’ve read in a long time."
—Steve Farrar, speaker, author of Point Man

Product Reviews

4 Stars Out Of 5
4 out of 5
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.5 out Of 5
(3.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 13
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  1. Penny Toomer
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good Book!
    January 12, 2017
    Penny Toomer
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    My hubby wants to order more copies to use for a small group time with some men in the church. He enjoyed it.
  2. raroeder
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great wisdom mixed with great adventures.
    June 15, 2012
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    While reading "Average Joe," I was amazed at Troy Meeder's insight into life. Truly the real heroes are the Average Joes, and any man with determination and integrity, regardless of age, can be a hero rising to the rank of Average Joe.

    This is a book every man should read, even if you think you are above average or like me, less than average. We have a great God and what matters is what He sees in us. He is our fulfillment.

    This book would make a great gift for husbands and high school grads.
  3. John
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Simply Great
    February 18, 2012
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We are all average Joes .We just need to see it & what we can do through GOD....
  4. owensdad
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Who Wants to Be Average?
    November 4, 2011
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Troy Meeder is a cowboy in the Pacific Northwest, where he runs a ranch for at-risk teenagers, a wonderful ministry. I'm not sure why he doesn't share any stories from his many years working the ranch and, in particular, working the hearts of rough kids. Instead, he focuses on those men he calls "average Joes," men who have in some way influenced his maturity.

    "Average Joe" is an attempt — at least from what I can gather — to encourage regular guys to make the most of life in their station, a far cry from something like John Eldredge's "Wild at Heart," which I recommend to any man. Meeder's content is inconsistent. At one time he seems to persuade guys to stay average and at another to fuel that "passion and desire to do something that will set us apart to face and survive an impossible circumstance."

    Perhaps I just don't fit into the readership Meeder was addressing, for he tells a lot of stories about fishing and ranching. His affinity toward John Wayne certainly tells his age and also confuses his intended audience. Is he writing to younger men in the throes of building a career, a family, a marriage — not necessarily in that order — or to middle aged men discouraged concerning their averageness?

    Meeder has a glorified image of military men, "This old cowboy tips his hat to honor them, the very best of us all — the soldiers, airmen, and sailors of the United States Armed Forces." Indeed, they may be brave, but I'm not sure I'd call them the very best of us all. What makes a man the best? That he dons fatigues and carries an automatic weapon?

    Further, Meeder virtually deifies cowboys, at times conveying, though likely unintentionally, that a man's occupation defines the man. And he will not suffer anything less than his version of masculinity. For instance, in his chapter on friendship, he assures us that his idea of sitting down to chat with another guy doesn't involve "the cost of a designer coffee at some metrosexual hangout." Personally, I've had some amazing conversations with guys at such metrosexual hangouts.

    If you're a rough, Folgers-only kind of guy, and over 50, you might appreciate Troy Meeder's take on being a man. My metrosexual friends and I would have a harder time gleaning the good beyond the macho. There is some there, but nothing that hasn't been written better or less objectionable to guys who like "designer coffee."

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
  5. Scotty
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    "Average Joe" is the same old story told well
    September 3, 2011
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    How many versions of your favorite movie would you watch?

    Three? Five? Maybe even seven?

    How about 71?

    Since Chapman & Hall first published "A Christmas Carol" in 1843 by English writer Charles Dickens, this story about Ebenezer Scrooge has been told in some kind of movie or television format at least 71 times. It's an old story that people seem to never tire of, although some versions are better than others.

    Troy Meeder's new book, "Average Joe: God's Extraordinary Calling to Ordinary Men" (published by WaterBrook Multnomah) reminds me of the constant telling of a popular story, but this time it's the usual stuff men's ministries are made up of, just a different version told fairly well.

    Therein lies the value of "Average Joe."

    If you've been in --- or even near --- a men's ministry, you won't find the overall content of Meeder's book to be anything new. From the focus of God doing extraordinary things through ordinary men, to a chapter making the classic pitch for men to be involved in a mentoring relationship, the message comprising "Average Joe" isn't anything original or different. But the stories Meeder tells in crafting his message are new and often captivating.

    From the first five chapters of the book, I thought Meeder may have been unfolding a larger, overarching message for his readers. Then chapter six happened. That chapter was an odd break from the preceding chapters inserted simply to "tip his hat" to the men who serve in a branch of our country's military. Chapter seven was also a little odd as Meeder turned to the image of a cowboy to draw out his example for the "average Joe."

    But Meeder's skills at story-telling, coupled with his fluid writing, brings out a strong message about friendship in chapter 10, an intensely personal story in chapter 11, and chapter 12 tells a story powerful enough to make a grown man cry.

    "Average Joe" has common messages for men, being told once again here by Meeder. But the messages are well crafted, and the stories they are composed of are worth the read.

    I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Displaying items 1-5 of 13
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