Nearly everyone has someone in their circle of acquaintances who struggles—an out-of-control friend or relative whose habits or relationships are in chaos. Is there any hope, or is he or she doomed to self-destruction?
Pastors Rob Cowles and Matt Roberts say God is equal to the challenge! New beginnings are possible, no matter how broken, devastated, or crazy someone’s life may be. Yet today’s churches don’t do messy very well.
The Genesis Project is a network of believers whose goal is to plant churches in dark places, targeting people who don’t normally “do” church. Reaching drug addicts, convicts, strippers, and gang members, they’ve seen God do some amazing things with seemingly hopeless lives. The God of New Beginnings tells these dramatic stories, offering practical wisdom for breaking through the darkness in a person’s life:
Pursuing real relationships Opening up true stories Pulling together safe communities Getting honest about sin Extending God’s forgiveness and freedom Helping people reset their lives and habits Coping with ongoing complications Not giving up when setbacks occur Freely sharing the victories Keeping the faith life simple Love never fails. And when we incorporate God’s love into our lives and relationships, redemption is possible.
Cowles and Roberts founding pastors of the Genesis Project, a church that focuses on outreach toward the nonreligious offer a clear guide to key Christian principles for reaching and helping those whose lives are in chaos. The authors begin by recounting their purchase of a strip club in Fort Collins, Colo., in order to turn it into a church. To bring the gospel message of Christ to those suffering from addiction, violence, and poverty, Cowles and Roberts believe that establishing safe spaces in less-than-desirable neighborhoods is crucial. It's only when people feel comfortable, the authors suggest, that they will be truly honest about sin and begin to understand the biblical principles for accepting God's forgiveness. Cowles and Roberts note that the process of recovery can be messy and complicated, and that setbacks are common; however, "Failure is not fatal," they write, and it is important to keep the focus on the hope for lasting change. Multiple stories of those who were led to recovery through the Genesis Project are featured, though they are all brief and serve only to undergird already established points. The frequent viewpoint shifts and lack of real detail will make this book appealing to those in outreach ministry but hard for general readers to follow.