I’m really excited about Realtime Connections for several reasons:
First, it’s for everyday disciples – not just preachers. My other books have been geared primarily to pastors and church leaders, but many everyday disciples wound up reading them and wanted something more practical. Also, when the Great Commission is fulfilled it will take the whole body of Christ – not just preachers.
Second, I was able to tell lots of stories of how everyday disciples are making a difference from a stay-at-home mom with an autistic child to a policeman, to an NGO leader, from the Global President of Disney theme parks to a young computer geek – and to get to tell parts of my story as well. The stories are the power in this thing.
Third, at the end of each chapter I was able to give action steps so that if a person will read the book and finish each action step – by the time they’re finished with the book, they’ll have a life plan for engagement.
Realtime Connections IS NOT an idea, a theory, a concept we should try – it is something we have already done as a church in Vietnam. It is something our members are doing on their own. It is an approach that I am helping other churches engage in in other parts of the world. It have been proven time and time again. It is the present future.
I LOVE the forwards – those are two people I love a lot. Rick has mentored me since we first started NorthWood. He’s taken my calls and even checked on me for no reason over the years. Eboo is the one who helped me understand the concept of multi-faith and to have a Muslim do the forward for a book on the Great Commission – well – that’s just too wild – thanks Eboo.
In the book I also begin to try to shift the conversation on global issues. All religions are all places and how we speak of faith and how we serve others must go through some transformation to bring us out of a 17th century response to the Great Commission to the 21st century. Issues like dealing with Muslims, Religious freedom, how we link with the global church beyond “missions” and “denominationalism,” and moving from society as a social contract to a moral covenant. Another challenge when we think of the Great Commission is how do we justify doing things far away when things are so broken here – but in Chapter 7 I explain how our members are more involved in our inner-city than they ever would have been – because they’ve seen the world and know what they need to do here.
I’m always asked by people – if I can read only one book – which one should I read – my answer will be simple now – Realtime.
Bob Roberts Jr.