Friday, May 14, 2010

Going Viral With The Good News

My good friend JR Woodward just compiled and edited a wonderful book. I think it is actually the first publication of Ecclesia Press which is the publication arm of the Ecclesia Network, a church planting network started by JR, Chris Backert, Jim Pace and a few sundry other friends who love Jesus. If you are interested in learning more about planting churches, or getting networked in a group that is highly thoughtful in it’s practice and execution of church, I highly recommend Ecclesia.
I also highly recommend JR’s book, Viral Hope: Good News From The Urbs to the Burbs. It’s a delightful book, and it can easily be read in an afternoon or over a longer period. It’s a series of short essays written by fifty different authors from around the world. Each author was charged with the challenge of summarizing “What is the Good News?” and to consider the audience being a local newspaper.
What came out of the exercise was a beautiful picture of the beauty and diversity of the Gospel as it makes it is translated from community to community in a unique way.
I love the title of the book as well—viral hope. Often in today’s world we talk about viral movements and we mean something either really bad or really good. When something “goes viral” it spreads really quickly and viruses themselves tend to adapt as they spread from location to location—all without compromising the integrity of the virus itself.
So we all know how viruses can spread, but what about hope. What if hope spread like a virus. What if hope passed from community to community adapting and getting stronger as it spread? What if instead of massive amounts of negativity in the world there was a massive movement of hope?
When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God, he talked about it in terms of hope, but he also talked about it spreading really quickly—like yeast working it’s way through dough, or like a tiny seed that grows into a tree where all of the birds of the air can find rest and make their homes.
I highly recommend you read this book—it was originally intended to be read between Easter and Pentecost, but it could be read any time during the year. It could also be read in a group as well. Maybe a group could read to each other as they gathered in a home or another relaxing space.
I also highly recommend that you consider the question as well. What is the good news? What would it look like if the Kingdom of God broke forth in your workplace, in your classroom, your home, or even your city? Personally, I think it’s a good question for any Christian anywhere to strive to answer. What does it look like for the Gospel to take root in your community? What differences should we see? What would it look like to be “infected?”
I hope you will give some thought today about how you might see this message of hope spread like a virus in your community and beyond.


JR Woodward said...

Hey man,

Thanks for the review!

chanchanchepon said...

No problem bro! Hope you didn't mind me using your photo too!