The author is Matthew Barnett, founder of the Dream Center. The Dream Center is a large church that ministers to many that are overlooked by society – homeless, prostitutes, drug addicts, gangsters, and the suffering. In this book, Misfits Welcome, he seeks to encourage others in living out big dreams of compassion.
When I requested to review this book, I was thrilled to read it and see what truths God would use to speak to my heart. I love the Dream Center. I loved the time I got to experience ministry, while there for a week. I had high hopes for this book, to be encouraging and biblically sound. In my opinion, it lacked a crucial part: discussion of prayer and discernment of God’s voice.To be fair in the review I present before you today, I struggled to continue reading this book. I found it to be self-focused. Not solely on the basis of the Dream Center, it was focused on the individual ability of those who acted on an idea of compassion. I felt it was profound enough to stop reading the book.
Here’s why: I felt like the focus was on their doing. It wasn’t set up as “God used me to do ________” or praying for those ideas you have. It felt as though if you have an idea, then it needed to be done. It lacked the backup of prayer and seeking to discern God’s voice.
There are certain examples I could give. Here are two in their context:
- “In your life, what have you always wanted to do and talked yourself out of? Move in the direction of the extraordinary idea and watch Jesus come along and make it happen. Just start moving.”
- “The truth is, God doesn’t always ask us to do what we can do, but rather to do more than we can do.”
Due to the lack of discussion on prayer and discerning the voice of God, I chose to end my reading adventure with “Misfits Welcome”. Having an idea is not a good enough reason – to act. We need to discern God’s voice, and stay close to Him. We need to honor God in our thoughts and deeds. Following His leading. Paying attention to His prompts. Making sure what we feel led to do matches up with what God wants for us to do. He will persistently nudge His Church, to act according to His divine will. We need to allow Him to direct our path.
**In exchange for a honest review, I was given a free copy of this book by BookLook**