Book review | Live Sent: You are a letter

Sometimes an overarching metaphor organizing a work of non-fiction can feel a little trite or forced. I admit that when I picked up Jason Dukes’ Live Sent: You are a letter and skimmed the chapter titles, I predicted the book would be a lightweight approach to the subject of missional living.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Dukes, a pastor, presents a valuable and eminently practical exploration of what it means to be sent by God into the life to which God has called you. He challenges, encourages and above all, simplifies the notion of mission in a winsome and accessible book. In some circles of Christianity, there is a lot of overblown, earnest and pompous talk about what it means to be missional. Dukes yanks the concept out of the think tanks and conferences and roots it firmly where it belongs – in God’s heart, and in our lives:
“As His church, we have a responsibility to humanity to be God’s letter of love. That’s why He started this movement almost 2,000 years ago that He called “the church”. So that we would love each other as He intended, as His family. And so that we would do more than “go to church”, but rather BE THE CHURCH to the people we encounter everyday, loving them as He loves them.
In Duke’s hands, the call to follow Jesus becomes revolutionary – as it should be. He tackles the purpose of church, knowing and being loved by the Sender, contextualization, hindrances, our spheres of influence, our understanding of the world around us, disciple-making, dropping our self-protective mechanisms, and some pointed (and necessary) words to pastors about their calling to equip instead of control. Dukes salts his book with lots of practical examples meant to inspire us to see ourselves as the living letters Christ’s followers are meant to be.
One small beef – the book could have used a bit more gentle editing (there are a lot of words in “quotation marks”; this was a bit “distracting” for me). However, that small quibble does not negate the big value of this 139-page volume. You’ll want to read – and live – the kind of Christ-follower’s life Dukes describes in this book.
Note: This was a review copy, sent to me by The Ooze viral bloggers.
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