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The Outward-Focused Life: Becoming a Servant in a Serve-Me World Paperback – August 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080107150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801071508
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

FRONT COVER

"This is exactly the wake-up call needed for those of us drifting off to sleep. It's a new day, and The Outward-Focused Life may well revolutionize the way we do church--and life."--Bill Hybels


BACK COVER

What if, more than anything else, Christians were known for being servants? In Dave Workman's collection of biblical reflections, poignant stories, and practical ideas, you'll be challenged to develop the outward-focused life . . . and discover the simple joy of being the Body of Christ in a love-starved world.

"Dave dreams of a time when Christians are known for the way they love and serve and seek the common good. If enough of us take to heart his message about servanthood and the outward-focused life, we could help make that dream come true."--Brian McLaren, author, Everything Must Change

"Few things would be more powerful than the realization of Workman's prediction that servanthood will soon become the defining characteristic of Christians. These short, lively pieces--packed full of fascinating stories--show you how to serve."--Ronald J. Sider, author, The Scandal of Evangelical Politics; president, Evangelicals for Social Action

"The last time I saw Dave, he was skateboarding over to the children's church to show them how fun, how relevant, and how balanced a Christian can really be. Loving and serving others with no strings attached was truly the way that Jesus fished. Follow Dave's advice--if you can catch him!"--Laurie Beth Jones, author, Jesus, CEO; The Path; and Jesus, Life Coach

"Dave Workman, through amazing, imagination-shaping stories, shows us all how to participate in the Christ-life of an others-focused, outward life."--Todd Hunter, President, Alpha USA

"The big things in life are caught--and then clarified with words. So it is with serving. Dave shows us that with his Velcro-like stories."--Steve Sjogren, author, Conspiracy of Kindness


[note to design: include author photo with bio]

Dave Workman pastors Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, a growing church of 6,000 weekend attendees that is well known for its outward-focused message and ministry.
www.outwardfocusedlife.com

About the Author

Dave Workman is senior pastor of Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, a church of 6,000 weekend attendees. Starting in 1985, the Vineyard pioneered a unique form of outreach called servant evangelism. Workman is considered an atmosphere architect in the evolution of the church. After leading worship for twelve years and developing celebration/programming teams for eight weekly celebrations, he began regularly teaching as a primary speaker. In 2000, Dave stepped into the role of senior pastor. He and his wife, Anita, live in Mason, Ohio, with their two children.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I picked up this book in the grocery store today.
R Shull
Readers will walk away knowing what it means to practically join into the Story of God, one act of love at a time.
Tony Myles
I highly recommend it, but be warned...it will challenge you to change.
Cynthia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tony Myles on July 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
A grassroots revolution is best started by someone who's living it out himself. Without question, Dave Workman is that man, believing that "developing an outward focus for life will do more for inward transformation that perhaps anything else." These one-two page narratives (originally short radio spots) have all the inspiration to create some well-needed perspiration in the Church.

Workman's formula is simple enough - show everyday Christians how God's already working around them so that they can better understand how to join Him. Since the Kingdom of God can always use more effective servants, this resource is more than another version of Chicken Soup For The Soul. Readers will walk away knowing what it means to practically join into the Story of God, one act of love at a time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on December 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a combined review from the 10 persons in my small group:

Pros:
-----
We liked the theme.
We liked the way the book is broken down into small sections
We liked the stories.
We liked many of the ideas for service.

Cons:
-----
We didn't like the simplicity. By simplicity, we don't mean ease of understanding, but lack of depth.
We didn't like the repetition.
We didn't like the way the author sometimes gets off track even when on one simple, small, point.
We didn't like the way the author plays a little loose with Scripture. This doesn't mean the author has poor theology, but Scripture use is more inspirational than scholarly. This calls into question whether emphatic statements should be so emphatically stated.

Personal Note:
--------------
I gave the book the highest rating out of the ten of us. This is probably a better devotional book for the individual person than for a small group. Our group has people from three evangelical denominations. All of them are free thinkers. All of them like the challenge of discussing spiritual material together and learning from each other. This was not the book for that setting. The book ran out of steam before we ran out of book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ken Wilson on August 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
So many churches want to be outward focused, but the things we do to become outward focused undermine our effectiveness. We do things that don't work. They bomb. They make everyone feel socially awkward. They are based on old ideas that don't work anymore and we do them to feel that at least we're trying. This book is full of actual good ideas that have been implemented in a real church by normal people in normal communities with remarkable results. For a topic that can be odious--evangelism--this book is light hearted, breezy, and inspiring. The chapters are short, concise and downright fun. What's not to like?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennie Y. on November 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am about a third of the way through this book with a Bible study at my church. Though the format is different than what I expected (more on that below), I really like the message that Workman conveys. He offers Biblical and here-and-now examples of living a servant life. As an adult singles group, we were particularly interested in a study focused on giving/serving, and so far this book has sparked great discussions and plans of action.

The Outward Focused Life is a collection of 1-2 page reflections that originated as 2 minute Christian radio spots. They are divided into 9 collections on topics such as Generosity, Availability, etc. and many include scriptural references.

I recommend this book for group or personal study if you are looking for something that goes against the me-me-me culture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like to think of myself as an outward focused person, but in reading this book, I found myself challenged by the complacency and self-comfort that has crept into my life in my middle age. I had to put the book down several times in order to work through the thoughts it stirred. Reading this was the catalyst for me getting involved in the lives of a group of people in a violent and poverty plagued housing complex in the inner city. I highly recommend it, but be warned...it will challenge you to change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R Shull on August 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up this book in the grocery store today. Since I did not know the author I read through the list of reviewers. I bought the book because I recognized Ken Wilson's name. Ken, I went to the church in Milan before we moved out of state. It is now early afternoon and I am already half way through the book, picked up a hilighter and started at the beginning again. I plan on ordering 3 copies for friends. So far I have found conviction, freedom, and a fresh look at scripture.
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