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About Richard Stearns
Stearns holds a bachelor's degree form Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career began in marketing with the Gillette Company. From 1977 to 1985, he held various roles with Parker Brothers Games, culminating in his appointment as president in 1984. In 1985, he became a vice president at The Franklin Mint, then joined Lenox in 1987 as president of Lenox Collections. In 1995, Stearns was named president and chief executive officer of Lenox Inc. As president of World Vision Inc., Stearns is responsible for U.S. operations, which include fund raising, advocacy, and program development.
Stearns and his wife, Renee, have been World Vision supporters since 1984. The couple has five children and live in Bellevue, Washington.
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This tenth-anniversary edition of The Hole in Our Gospel features a new chapter and updated statistics, along with full-color photo and infographic inserts, a study guide, a concordance of scripture on poverty and justice, and personal accounts from readers whose perspectives have been changed by The Hole in Our Gospel.
Is our faith only about going to church, studying the Bible, and avoiding the most serious sins? Or does God expect more? Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?
More than twenty years ago, Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns’s journey took much more than a long flight to Africa. It took answering God’s call on his life, a call that tore him out of his corner office at one of America’s most prestigious corporations, to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.
Stearns’s compelling story demonstrates that the whole gospel was always meant to be a world-changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with each one of us.
Believing Is Only the Beginning
Do you long for a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in your life? Do you believe all the right things, go to church, and faithfully read your Bible, still feeling that something is missing? You may be right.
Two thousand years ago Jesus gave an urgent assignment to his followers right before he left. At its essence it was not just an invitation to believe; it was a bold call to action. It was a challenge to go into the world to reclaim, reform, and restore it for Christ.
Simply stated, the message of this book is that God has invited you to join him in this world-changing mission. And if you are not personally participating in God’s great endeavor, you could be missing the very thing he created you to do.
Best-selling author Rich Stearns invites you not just to stand on the sidelines but to get into the game. That is when the adventure begins.
“Unfinished, just might challenge everything you thought you understood about your Christian faith. Unfinished is a call to finish the job Christ gave his church to do. If every Christian read this book and took it seriously, the world would never be the same again.”—Bill Hybels, senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; and chairman, Willow Creek Association
“Just when I’ve gotten comfortable with my faith, here comes Rich Stearns, reminding me what matters and who God loves and why. Just when my world is the way I want it, Rich reminds me the world is not the way God wants it. Hungry families. Malnourished kids. Just when I dare think my work is done, Rich reminds me that we are just getting started. First in The Hole in Our Gospel, now in Unfinished, Rich gives me a kind, gracious kick. Thanks, Rich. (I think.)”—Max Lucado, pastor and best-selling author
“Okay, admit it: sometimes you wonder . . . don’t you? Is this it? The life you’re living. Is there more? From his journey in corporate and nonprofit leadership—in very good causes—Rich Stearns concludes there is, indeed, more. More purpose. More meaning. More life. In Unfinished you will discover how your life can be about more.”—Elisa Morgan, author; speaker; publisher, FullFill; and president emerita, MOPS International
“Rich Stearns has done it again! In this winsome, engaging, and challenging book, he calls us back to some of the key issues of what it means to be followers of Christ in a world full of distractions and false gods. This is a book for everyone, about finding the place of our calling in God’s global mission. It is a book about fulfillment, adventure, and a lifetime of transformation. It made me hungry for more of the life God has in store for us.”—Dr. Stephen Hayner, president, Columbia Theological Seminary
“Your story can be a part of the Great Story. Rich Stearns knows the story and lives the story. Unfinished may call you to the greatest chapter of your life.”—John Ortberg, senior pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church; and author, Who Is This Man?
“The kingdom is both already and not yet, the work of Christ both finished and to be completed. Stearns reminds readers of every Christian’s responsibility to live on mission, in light of Jesus’ example and call. Richard shows us by his life, the ministry he leads, and the passion of this book that there is much to be done and we are to be a part of God’s grand plan.
Read the book that has inspired hundreds of thousands to change the world and the book that shows how best to accomplish that change.
Together for the first time in one volume, The Hole in Our Gospel, revised and updated, and Unfinished take us on a breathtaking journey to rediscover the critical mission of Christ in our world today and the richness of God’s calling on our lives.
The Hole in Our Gospel is a compelling true story of a corporate CEO who set aside worldly success for something far more significant and discovered the full power the gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life. He uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel—the whole gospel—was always meant to be a world-changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with us.
This special edition of The Hole in Our Gospel includes a new epilogue from author Richard Stearns, a church resource guide, color charts and graphs on the needs of the world, and a concordance on poverty and justice.
“Unfinished might just challenge everything you thought you understood about your Christian faith,” says Bill Hybels, senior pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church. “If every Christian read this book and took it seriously, the world would never be the same again.”
Just before he left, Jesus sent his followers into the world with a revolutionary mission: to change the world by proclaiming God’s truth and demonstrating his incredible love. But the single task he gave us to accomplish remains unfinished.
“Just when I dare think my work is done, Rich reminds me that we are just getting started,” says Max Lucado, pastor and best-selling author.
Why are we here, what is our purpose, and where do we fit in the bigger story that God is writing? How should our faith affect our careers, our money, our families, and our lives? And why does it matter? We will find our deepest purpose only when we discover the unique role God created for us to play in his unfolding story.
ECPA 2010 Christian Book of the Year Award Winner! What Does God Expect of Us?
Is our faith only about going to church, studying the Bible, and avoiding the most serious sins—or does God expect more? Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?
More than twenty years ago Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns’s journey there took much more than a long flight to Africa. It took answering God’s call on his life, a call that tore him out of his corner office at one of America’s most prestigious corporations—to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.
This anniversary edition of The Hole in Our Gospel features new content along with full-color graphics on poverty statistics, a guide for churches on short-term missions and international engagement, and an index of Scripture on poverty, justice, faith in action, and more. The Hole in Our Gospel changed people’s lives, and some of those personal accounts also appear in this anniversary edition. Stearns’s compelling story demonstrates that the whole gospel was always meant to be a world-changing, social revolution, a revolution that begins with each one of us.
The Hole in Our Gospel is also available in Spanish, Vacío en nuestro evangelio.
God sees the poor as blessed. Rich and Reneé Stearns show us why.
We often separate ourselves from people who are different from us, sometimes even intentionally. This book is a great reminder of all the things we share in common—hopes, dreams, heartaches—and most important of all, it reminds us that He walks among us. All of us. This book offers great perspective from our brothers and sisters around the world.
Rich and Reneé Stearns have traveled the world visiting the most poverty-stricken habitations imaginable, and they’ve discovered an amazing and common occurrence among the people who live there: joy can be found no matter how dire your circumstances. He Walks Among Us is a 90-day devotional giving readers an up-close and personal view of Christ in the lives of mothers, fathers, and children who have so little, yet are so rich in His spirit and love. Christians who are interested in or committed to missionary outreach will encounter the transforming power and courage needed to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Spiritual lessons include: The Choice to Believe—No Matter What; Our True Identity Is in Christ; Discovering Joy in Unexpected Places; Having Unshakable Hope in the Power of God; Our Circumstances Don’t Define Who We Are; We Become Transformed When We Invest in Others; and Remaining Faithful to Your Calling No Matter the Obstacles.
He Walks Among Us features the award-winning photography of World Vision® photographer Jon Warren.
In The Hole in Our Gospel Study Guide, Richard Stearns will challenge you to come face-to-face with these questions, just as he did years ago as he sat in a mud hut in Uganda and listened to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. As you examine his journey, you will be compelled to rethink your understanding of the gospel and consider what God is asking you to do to bring about change in the world. You will discover that God is seeking far more than just belief, or fellowship with other believers, or prayer and Bible study—He is asking for a total life commitment in bringing about a social revolution on earth.
The Hole in Our Gospel Study Guide includes six sessions of personal study, group discussion questions, and practical suggestions for living out the Word of God each week.