The first time I read it was with a mission team before we traveled to Haiti, and I recently saw it on my shelf as I was packing and once again wanted the challenge and encouragement I found the first time. The book is called Guerrilla Lovers by Vince Antonucci .
The author's comic and witty style was one of my favorite aspects of this read, and I enjoyed his satire even better the second time around, which is really saying something. I found myself laughing out loud in public places while reading it, and then glancing up sheepishly to see if anyone had heard me. The premise of this nonfiction from a hip pastor/church planter is that followers of Christ can be part of a revolutionary movement to share our faith that is similar to guerrilla warfare in that we ambush people with love. He argues effectively with examples and personal testimonies these new and refreshing methods to infiltrate our world with love and use God's grace for generosity and hope among the hopeless in our communities. With thought-provoking personal and discussion questions at the end of each chapter, as well as online testimonies and interaction opportunities throughout, this is one book that could actually start the revolution we need.
If you know me at all, you already know this is my kind of thing, so it probably won't surprise you that I liked this book and highly recommend it. What may surprise you is that I find it difficult to apply his concepts. Swimming against the current is never easy, though.
To write about befriending intimidating people, giving away large sums of money for individuals in need, hosting a church service in your back yard for your unsaved friends, or wearing a cape every day to remind you to be someone's hero - well that's easy if you ask me. But to DO those things? That's massively complicated and downright hard. I admire Antonucci's courage to write about his efforts for a guerrilla revolution among the Church, but even more, I respect that he's there too - on the front lines and in the rear guard and infiltrating the enemy's tactics of evil with God's love. I'm pretty convinced that's what Jesus was talking about when He said, "Follow Me. I'll make you people-fishers."
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book, and I hope you'll read it too. If you have read it or do in the future, I'd love for you to comment and let me know how it impacted you, too.
"What if we actually obeyed God? What if we took him seriously? What if we viewed our excess as God-given resources to meet people's needs and fund Jesus's revolution? What if we shared in a way that drew others into the revolution?"
"... perhaps the first thing we need to do is restore people's humanity."
"God's dream is of a people whose lives have been revolutionized by love. Jesus died that we might go out on mission to share his love with everyone. But instead we've become Christian consumers who keep our distance from the rest of the world by bunkering down in our churches, which are more like country clubs without pools, and that's tragic."
"What if re redefined 'greatness' and believed it comes through serving? And what if we viewed church not as something that brings in people from the community for services but as people who go out into the community to serve?"
Happy reading, and happy guerrilla loving!