POSSIBLE: A Blueprint for Changing How We Change the World by Stephan Bauman
Reviewed by: Lori Heiselman
Genre: Christian Living, Leadership, Social Issues
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
There are scads of books in the Christian space that seek to motivate the church in general and Christians specifically to be the hands and feet of Jesus. They give us motivation to go out and change the world…but then fail at giving direct action steps in how to actually achieve our vision for helping others, in a way that creates lasting positive change.
POSSIBLE: A Blueprint for Changing How We Change the World is a different kind of book. Written by Stephan Bauman, Possible is practical and personal, sharing stories of people who have tirelessly worked to reverse social issues facing our world, while empowering the people who are directly affected by these issues.
Bauman states, “What you do with your life matters – to you, to the world, and most of all to God.”
Stephan Bauman is the president of World Relief, a leading international relief and development organization that serves over five million vulnerable people each year through over 100,000 church-based volunteers. Bauman and his family’s own journey show what works, and what doesn’t work, when trying to serve those in need.
“When we radically shift our ideas about those who suffer, seeing them not only has victims but as people with enormous resilience, creativity, unwavering hope, and indeed calling, we begin to think about poverty and injustice in very different ways. When those who need help become part of the solution, everything change, from ownership of the problem to sustainability of the solution to the dignity of the people who rise up to overcome.”
Possible shares the stories of Westerners who have traveled to some of the darkest parts of the world to bring light, resources, support and encouragement, but not in the way you may be thinking. These people became passionate about those who were effected by some of the most devastating issues facing our world – war, child soldiers, poverty, rape, living under an oppressive regime – and focused on standing alongside those impacted to empower them to fix the issues.
This includes giving micro-loans to help widows build businesses in Africa. This is advocating to governments so the voiceless can be heard. This can be bringing food – and seeds – to an area struggling with famine to both meet the immediate need of nourishment, and help teach farming to solve the long-term issues.
Bauman often states that this is hard work, and it’s easy to become discouraged. But by focusing on the human, relational aspects of humanitarian work, anyone can help create stronger people, families, communities, and see lasting change that effects generations to follow.
Where Possible shines is the action steps. There are leading questions, tools to identify your passions, and ways to open up discussion in your community on how to solve these issues.
If you are looking for something bigger out of life but are struggling with how to start, Possible is the book for you.
If you are needing to stay inspired while trying to make the world a better place, this book is for you.
If you have a small group that desires to focus on the bigger work of the church, Possible would be perfect to start that discussion.
Bauman states, “Can we change the world? I believe people like you will do extra-ordinary things when given the change, turning some of the most entrenched, seemingly intractable situations of our day into something hopeful, something….Possible.”
Rated PG: Book shares firsthand stories of social issues facing our world.
Reviewer’s copy was provided by the Publisher. Thank you!