Messy and Foolish by Matthew Warner *disclaimer - I get free stuff to review. It is a great blessing. This book included!
Discover the art of making a "mess," being a "fool", and evangelizing the world. We shouldn't have to tell people we're Christians. It should be obvious by the way we live our lives. Learn how to live that radical, meaningful, and joyful life. ~ about, Messy and Foolish
IT is a small book. I like small books. Get to the point and do it in the shortest amount of time - life is busy. Check!
Build the idea of your book on the words of Pope Francis. I like Pope Francis. Talk about getting to the point! I was on Copacabana Beach at World Youth Day, 2013, when Papa Francisco said, "Go!...the experience of this encounter must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community. I want a mess. I want people to go out!" Check!
Remind people they have been commissioned by their Baptism to share the good news, to be heralds of the Gospel - that it is not just for their benefit. In fact, if we are not willing to take bold risks -to be MESSY & FOOLISh, the fire ignited by Jesus Passion will be extinguished. IT is already frightening how dim it now burns. Inspire people to action. Check!
Get your kids involved. Check!
Get Messy. I used to be a preschool teacher - the best lessons, the ones that stayed with my students, were the ones that involved getting elbow deep in stuff (pumpkins, shaving cream, mud)! Sometimes those messes backfired - my metal heaters still bear the scars of the salt water/ice cream mishap of 2005; but it doesn't mean it was a failure. We just learned different lessons but we still learned! Check!
Use your gifts according to who YOU are! There is no secret formula to sharing your faith except to be authentic and creative. We are artists and we need to be willing to take risks. Making art is extremely messy, experimental and always lays us bear before others. How we share the faith should be too! "We must not be afraid to expose our weakness, for it is a great strength". Check!
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men. ~ St Paul (1 Corinthians 1:25)
So now what .. As author, Matthew Warner reminds us, we need to revert to the ways of the infant Church -when hearts were won for Jesus through authentic witness not buttoned up programs. It is good to offer opportunities for our faithful but if we don't reach out beyond our church walls, there will soon be no one to attend these well organized events. We are called to be saints. "Saints are compelling in every age and from every angle. They need few words to be understood. They need no defense. They need no money, gimmicks, glory or fame. They have but to be authentically themselves, and the world can't help but change." (Messy & Foolish, p. 48). Are we willing to embrace this definition, this call, and become radical versions of ourselves and embrace our call to sainthood. Most importantly, not for ourselves but for the good of His Holy Church!
Bottom line... "the answer is very, very simple -- but not easy." Give God all you got and love the peeps around you in the same way. Be prepared to make changes so you can be part of a change much bigger than you. Matthew Warner's Messy & Foolish book is a very inspiring place to start and for more be sure to check out his website and the Messy & Foolish Challenge!
About the Author ...
Matthew Warner is the founder and CEO of Flocknote.com, an innovative communication tool helping thousands of churches and dioceses better connect with their flocks. He’s been able to reach millions of people by developing various faith-based websites, blogs, and email lists (like Catechism-in-a-year), and by engaging a large audience through social media. He blogs at MatthewWarner.me, is one of the founders and speakers of theDigital Church Conference, and is the author of the book, Messy & Foolish: How to make a mess, be a fool and evangelize the world. Matt has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. He, his wife and his four children hang their hats in Texas.