Monday, October 24, 2011

Not A Pew Warmer Anymore

Dan King made me an offer that I almost refused. Well, he didn't make the offer only to me, but you know that I can rarely see beyond the end of my nose to think about what is going on with other people. The offer was for bloggers to receive a free copy of Dan's new e-book, The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty Fighter, if we would review it or otherwise promote it somehow on our blogs. This was problematic for me because I stink at book reviews. Long books, short books, any kind of book - I cannot pick out a central idea and I cannot review it from any kind of objective veiwpoint. I don't summarize. I expand and expound - on what it has to do with me, me, me. Which is not what he asked for and not what you need to read. So I almost just clicked on past his offer without acknowledging that I had seen it.

The thing is, I really wanted to promote Dan (and his book). I have a heart for missions (even though my mission field has been reduced to handing people bottles of water and bags of peanut M&Ms). I enjoy cheering on missionaries of all types and even giving financial support when I can. That is why letting you know about Dan and his book is important to me.

So what did I do? I wrote up some bland interview questions and asked Dan to answer them. He graciously replied to them and even sent me that copy of the book. Which is what brings us to this blog post today.

I realize that my now-seven loyal readers might not know who Dan is and what makes him special, so let's get a little background information in here. I met Dan, otherwise known as the Bible Dude, at The High Calling's Writers' Retreat last month. (Dude, we still need to go canoeing. What happened there? Did I get distracted again?) In addition to being an author, Dan is also THC's Social Media EditorI don't actually know what that means, but it sounds official and important. And then he has a day job, too. Oh, and a family. (You can read his biography and personal testimony here.) One of the things that makes me think Dan is special is that Dan doesn't really think he is special. Even we prideful beings can recognize humility when we see it and it is lovely to behold.

Let's take a look at Dan's answers to my questions and see if you think he is special as well.


1. Tell us some quick things that we need to know about you as an author.
I think the most important thing is that I consider myself just a normal dude. I'm still struggling with the title of 'author', but I guess that's what I am since I've written and published something like this. Regardless, I'm not some big-time, specially trained anything. I'm just a normal guy with a normal job who sits in the normal seats in a normal church. I've recently been on some amazing journeys, but it's not been because of any credentials that I have. If anything, my only qualification for any of this is my desire to be used by a God who is much bigger than me.

2. Give us your “elevator speech” version of the book.
This book is for everybody who is sick of just sitting in the church wondering if there's more. It's based on my trip journals from my trip to Africa, but that's just the backdrop to a story about how God changes and uses people who are willing to be a part of His redemptive plan for the world. For me, it meant going to Africa. For you it may mean talking to your next door neighbor. Where you go isn't as important as your desire to break away from a the kind of lukewarm Christianity that binds so many of us in the church.

3. Were you are pew warmer right up till the time of your mission trip to Africa?
Yes and no. It depends on how you define pew-warmer. Because the truth is that I was actually very active in the church. I attended the weekly services, payed my tithe, and served in whatever aspect I could. But I think about something I read in C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. It was a statement that was made about keeping us busy in the church. It's made me really evaluate my priorities. Now I'm not saying that all of the ministry was bad, because it's a much needed and very important work. But it's very easy for us to just go through the motions. The journey that I describe in the book was one of discovering something more, something much bigger than myself. And that's when I started moving away from going through the motions. I wanted to be in that 'more'.

4. What made you decide to take that trip?
I think by the time I was asked to go, I was ready. I hadn't really thought about it, because I don't think I knew that it was even an option. But all of the little things that I did leading up to the time when I was asked to join a team to Kenya and Uganda prepared my heart for it. It was something that I'm passionate about. So when the question came up, it was kind of a no-brainer. I just realized that God was opening doors for the things that He was already working on inside of me.

5. What did you start doing differently with your faith after the mission trip?
Well, I've readjusted several priorities. My whole family has. Missions has become a much greater priority for us, but so has thinking beyond the church walls in our own hometown. I've started working with a more complete view of ministry that includes ministry within the church, local outreach and community service, and global missions. But it's all related to looking outwards. Friends say that they see a 'heart for souls' in me, and I guess that's one way of describing it. I've just become much more intentional about how I live out my faith. No more lukewarm faith for me!

6. Give us some quick tips to get us up off the pews even if we can’t go on a mission trip right now.
Yeah, you'll have to read the book for that one! I've tried to address this very question through some praxis at the end of every chapter. Because the truth is that I didn't end up in Africa because I just one day decided that I want to go. I got there because of little, manageable things that anyone can do. My hope with this book is that people will read a story that'll inspire them, but also that they walk away feeling empowered and equipped to start making a bigger difference in the world around them. So if there's one tip that I'll share here, it's that you can do this. Every one of us can. And when you do, you'll experience God working in your life in ways that you've never imagined!


So that is what Dan has to say in response to my questions. I think I want to find out more about the "little, manageable things that anyone can do", so I'm going to read the book. How about you?

You can purchase the book in Kindle, Nook, or PDF format here.

Also, if you want to help Dan get an endorsement for his book from Tim Tebow, 
you can join in the effort here.

Linking with Jen at Finding Heaven and the rest of the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.
(click on photo to go check it out)


  1. This man is such a testimony of God's Grace and working in the life of those who warm a pew. I warm a pew but am allowed to share a story about once a month during the joys time. Giving to trusted organizations take me further than I could go now in my elder years. I pray and do what I can locally, but so far no recent foreign mission trips for me.

  2. What a great way to publicize this wonderful book, Carolyn! Kudos for creativity here. Very thoughtful, very helpful.

  3. great interview, Carolyn. Sounds like an intriguing book. Blessings to you.

  4. Carolyn,
    Agreeing with others that this was a terrific way to get the word out about Dan's book!

  5. Hi Carolyn,

    For someone who claims not to know how to write a book review, I think your interview with Dan went well and you did what you ultimately wanted to do--highlighted Dan King's book! Good job!

  6. This is a great review - I hadn't heard of the book and now I'm intrigued. Mission accomplished!

  7. @A Joyful NoiseThank you for such an incredible compliment! And one of the things that I point out in the book is that it doesn't matter where you go, as long as we just do something...

  8. @Julie GilliesI totally agree Julie! I think Carolyn did a great job! Thanks for checking this out!

  9. @CourtneyI'd love to hear what you think of the book... Let me know if you decide to read it.

  10. What a wonderful interview, Carolyn! Dan's book blessed me tremendously and I'm glad to add my voice to the chorus of praise here.


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