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Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2011
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Do you see motherhood as a mission and divine calling?
Today's Christian moms come from a full range of personal and professional contexts, whether they are homemakers, full-time workers in the marketplace, or somewhere in between.
Yet many Christian mothers are living missional lives, using their gifts and abilities to further God's kingdom by engaging the world around them. They artfully, passionately, and sometimes messily juggle multiple callings and demonstrate in their modern-day contexts how they are emulating the woman of noble character in Proverbs 31.
The Missional Mom will affirm Christian mothers who desire to not only to build their homes in a Christ-like way, but also engage the world with their skills, abilities, and interests. It won't minimize the importance of a woman's role in her home, but it will encourage her to not ignore the stirrings God has planted within her to extend her influence.
From the start, Lee makes it clear that nothing worthwhile can be done missionally without having our primary role in place: loving and knowing God. From that point all other roles flow. Much of the book is spent deconstructing what we Americans consider our culture, and Lee candidly points out where our cultural thinking and values have gone off course from biblical teaching. In one particularly poignant section, she identifies some major misplaced values that exist even within the Christian community: achievement, consumerism, and materialism. For me, the topic of achievement was one I had never thought through before. For whose glory do we want our children to achieve? Why do we strive for the best education? So they can go to the best college, then have the best job, and then have the best life? Ouch. Lee pulls no punches, and her honesty is generously mixed with encouragements and real-life examples of women who have stepped out of what was comfortable to live in a more Christ-like manner.
The majority of the book equates being missional with social action. Lee uses Isaiah 58:6-7 as the basis for a Christian moms need to fight injustice, feed the hungry, and provide shelter to the needy. Her push toward this definition is understandable, since for the most part Americans avoid these uncomfortable kinds of service. I would suggest that the Bible promotes the use of our gifts to be first directed toward fellow believers, and second to the rest of the world (Galatians 6:9-10); however, I appreciate the need to wake people up to what's happening around them and spur them to action (Hebrews 10:24-25).
A difficulty I had with this book was its take on evangelism and conversion. Influenced by Alan Hirsch and Paul Hiebert, Lee asserts that it doesnt matter whether someone is in the kingdom of God or not, but simply that they are going in the right direction (p. 87). On this topic, Scripture does make a distinction between someone being a part of His kingdom or not (see Colossians 1, especially Colossians 1:13-14). Becoming a member of God's family is the goal of evangelism, with discipleship being the follow up action required by Him. In quoting the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20, Lee says that Jesus is clearly commanding followers to disciple others, but she stops short of the part where He says we are to baptize them, too. We ought to be begging people to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20), and then discipling them in the faith. Granted, at times these take place in a different order, but the Bible doesn't teach that we are to be unconcerned with their "faith status" (p. 88).
Although these are big issues with Christian teachers and theologians, these points will likely not change the overall message to moms: love others as Christ loves us, and look beyond your artificial boundaries of what you can do in the world. Lees heart for the Lord and for others is obvious throughout this book. With the above caveats in mind, I recommend The Missional Mom for the encouragement she provides and the difficult questions she causes readers to think through. Stacy Oliver, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"My mother was missional before anyone used the word, but I'm glad Helen Lee has described what mothers have done, are doing and will be doing with this word. This book is informed, laced together with timely and practical stories; the book is biblical and theological -- in other words, this book is a potent mixture that sketches radical, kingdom motherhood".- Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
"Helen is exactly the kick in the pants I need as a mom. Just when I start to feel comfortable, settled, and dare I say stuck in my little life, Helen Lee comes along to remind me that I was created to be part of what God is doing in the world and I need to sit up and pay attention. By casting a vision of motherhood that includes little details of family life and the big picture of global injustice and suffering, Helen gives moms the encouragement we need to follow God wherever God might lead us". - Carla Barnhill, author of The Myth of the Perfect Mother, co-founder of themommyrevolution.com
"Helen Lee is not only a missional mom, she also is a clear and incisive writer. Im not a mom, but as a Christian and a dad, I found myself marveling and motivated as I read this book. Now THIS is living!" - Marshall Shelley, editor Leadership Journal
"If you have ever felt your role as a mother is a forgotten one without purpose, this book is for you. The Missional Mom brims with practical examples of modern day heroes who are using their God-given roles as mothers to change the world. Helen Lee inspires all of us, whether or not we work outside the home, to think about how we can teach our children to become kingdom warriors and make a meaningful difference in the world. You will be inspired, challenged and energized to make your home a place of love and service to others. Dont underestimate the power of women, especially the power of a cadre of mothers, who manage their homes as missional outposts for kingdom work." -- Arloa Sutter, executive director, Breakthrough Urban Ministries
"Ive known Helen for nearly two decades. Ive always been impressed with her insights and reflections. She is a great learner, observer and writer. Im glad she wrote a book for all of us to be inspired and moved to action! The Missional Mom is a book that challenges us (not just moms!) to embrace radical, counter-cultural followership especially within the environment of our homes. The wonder years of growing families shouldnt be seen as a time we check out of following God. This is the time were in the thick of some of the most intense miraculous, spiritual activities (painful and joyful) of our lives both with God, our spouses, children and others. Helen stirs our imagination to go deeper into who we are called to be in our homes and beyond. She gently calls us out to be unafraid in pursuing purposeful living in practical ways." - Dave Gibbons, author of Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third Culture Church and XEALOTS: Defying the Gravity of Normality (release date in 2011)
"The Missional Mom is a treat for any mom who believes that God has called her to serve beyond the reaches of motherhood. Helen shows us how we can at once be wonderful, loving moms while also serving our wonderful, loving God using the vast and divergent passions and gifts He's given us."-- Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira, author of Mama's Got a Fake I.D. and co-founder of The Mommy Revolution blog
"We are both convinced that in order to unleash the world transforming power of missional Christianity we are going to need to learn a whole lot more from women. As Helen states, "Women have been the secret weapon in the church since the beginning of its existence, contributing significantly to the progress the church has made in the world." This is an undisputed fact! We look forward to a time when men and women are released to be all they can be in God for the sake of his Kingdom. Helen's book is a wonderful gift to all of us." --Alan and Debra Hirsch, authors of Untamed - Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship.
"It is easy to understand why moms might lose sight of the purpose and meaning for their lives when life is going by at such a frightening speed. This is a book that reminds women of the adventure of missional living (amidst the daily grind) that God is calling all of us to". - Michael Wallenmeyer, Missional in Suburbia
"Helen Lee has presented moms and families with a great gift in The Missional Mom. It is a great resource to help women understand and implement a missional life." - Ed Stetzer, coauthor of Transformational Church
"There is no sphere of human life which cannot find its true end in Gods Mission. Helen Lee, in engaging yet powerful prose, helps us see what this might mean for mothers. Under her careful guidance, we see how the rhythms and struggles of being a mom become subsumed by Gods sovereign purposes for the redemption of the world. I encourage us all who have families (not just moms!) to read this book!" - David Fitch, Reclaimingthemission.com, B R Lindner Chair Evangelical Theology Northern Seminary