by Don Everts
InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, 199 pages, 2012, $15.00.
—Reviewed by Josh Mann, lead pastor, Fox Island Alliance Church, Fox Island, Washington.
Go and Do is a powerful and practical primer on missional living. It surprised me with its breadth, it refreshed me with its simplicity, and it impressed me with its profundity. Don Everts essentially takes the character traits, the skill set, and the mindset that we have been teaching for decades to aspiring cross-cultural workers and packages them in an accessible way for the rest of us. This unique book combines culturally-sensitive sophistication and nuance with accessibility and practicality. It takes the missional conversation which at times has been divisive, confusing, academic, or reserved for church leaders and shows that it really is just fresh language for helping believers of all kinds to live essentially as missionaries, in our home culture and beyond.
A pastor friend of mine often says, “Following Jesus is simple, but it’s not easy; it’s not complex, but it is difficult.” Everts’ book captures both sides of this equation well. On the one hand, he presents a sobering picture of the reality that following Jesus into the world is very costly; on the other hand, he doesn’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Go and Do is divided into two sections—Anatomy and Geography. Anatomy outlines what we are to be and do, while Geography paints a picture of where we are to do it. The Anatomy of a missional Christian includes sober eyes, servant hands, ready feet, a compassionate heart, and a joyful soul. In the Geography section Everts uses Acts 1:8 to set the progressive landscape for where we live the missional life, moving from serving our friends and family (Jerusalem), to our home culture and community (Judea), to those culturally/ethnically/politically/socio-eco-nomically different from us (our Samaria), and also the ends of the earth.
It’s clear from the numerous personal references that Everts is not speaking from the ivory tower. This book is more autobiographical than I’m used to in this genre, but nonetheless it fits with his thesis in the relational evangelism section that people today want to process truth and methodology in the context of real-life situations, of which Everts provides many.
I would strongly recommend this book as a personal read, a possible sermon and small group series, as a standalone small group study (it includes chapter discussion questions), or in a smaller discipleship setting. For those discouraged or disillusioned that business as usual for the Church in the West does not seem to be cutting it, don’t lose heart. Go and Do provides the language, framework, and tools necessary for us to be salt and light in a dark and decaying world. Our churches are full of people who would thank us for introducing them to a book like this.
EMQ, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 247-248. Copyright © 2013 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.