Insightful, highly readable, practical, and sometimes … provoking—these are all words I would use to describe Just Walk across the Room by Bill Hybels. The greatest asset of the book is that Bill himself, despite his modesty about his gifts, actively shares his faith with people who are far from Christ. As a result, he is well qualified by experience to help you and I do the same. Some of the most helpful and riveting parts of the book (and of the video series I might add) are the personal stories of Bill’s ups and downs in sharing his faith. In addition, the mega church he pastors outside Chicago has a great reputation as a church that reaches out to people who are irreligious and helps them become Christ-followers.
Examples of the practical nature of the content are the solid illustration tools given. The bridge diagram, the do/done contrast and the morality ladder (pp. 135-138) are all easily understood, simple to draw, and quickly explained.
Part of the value of the book lies in the questions it raises in our minds. Here are a few of the ones posed by the pages for me. What questions did it raise in your consciousness? These become the roadmap for our own growth.
- How often have I missed boat in a conversation by doing most of the talking instead of listening for the other person’s story? I think sometimes I over-explain; thinking I’m being helpful when the best thing would be to ask a question and listen for the other person’s response.
- I was impressed with the “be with” factor (p. 100). I identified with how easy it is to spend life with those totally like oneself. That often unintentional practice creates myopic Christians and severely limits opportunities to talk about faith with those who do not already share it. I wonder how much I am afflicted with this kingdom-unhealthy state of affairs.
- Our author asks a pointed question that particularly struck me, “As I interact with people in everyday conversations, am I focused on breaking down stereotyping and building bridges instead (p. 157)?” Hmm…
- Do I have a healthy balance of urgency and tact; salt and grace?
Rev. Hybels is a great encourager too. As I read, I felt built up in confidence; sharing with someone else about my faith was something I wanted to do, something I could do and something that God would make successful. I’m wondering how others felt encouraged by the book?
What do you say? Let’s start a conversation around this book together! Please pick a question or two to answer or just make your own comment to get the conversation going.
What would you have highlighted in the review that I didn’t?
Which story really stuck with you?
What was the greatest single take-home for you from the book?
How were you encouraged by it?
What provoking questions that it raised will help you grow as a disciple maker (Acts 1:8)?