I just finished reading the book Summoned, by Daniel Allen Jr, and it was really quite an unexpected read. First and foremost, I didn’t realize that the book was intended for men. I saw the title, and the description and thought: THAT’S FOR ME! Had I taken a few moments to look a bit further, like the second sentence on the back cover, it would have been blatantly obvious.
While the central theme of the book is recognizing the call of God to step into a greater role in life, and some of the practical steps in heeding the call; the author also shares very real difficulties and obstacles that come along the way. I have to admit, I was able to get a perspective shift on how I see some of the men I have worked with in ministry. Issues and difficulties that I thought were more common for women (like relationships), it turned out were also a problem for men. I found we had more common ground that I expected, even though we also have very unique experiences as well.
People want to have an idea on how to recognize God’s calling, but they are not always certain of what action that is going to require on their part. Nor, are they prepared for the things in their life they may have to change, or the challenges they are going to face in the process. Something that really stood out to me, on a personal level, was the chapter on Baggage. We sometimes carry a lot of baggage around, and we may not even realize how it is affecting us. We can become blind to our own character faults, and they can wreak havoc in our lives and in our ministry work.
The chapter on Porn, was one that was clearly addressing a larger issue but in a more specified instance… but is part of what makes this book bent toward men. This isn’t to say women can’t suffer from this same addiction. But, as a woman, I skimmed this chapter. He wasn’t vulgar, please understand that, but just in relation to my own sensibilities on the subject… it wasn’t for me. I do recognize though the importance, particularly in relation to recent news headlines, that it couldn’t be more timely of an opportunity to address this problem within in leadership.
I’m not sure if I would recommend this to other women to read, but I would certainly recommend it to men in leadership in my own church. I am also of the opinion that it would make a great book for a men’s small group.
*I was given the book Summoned by #FamilyChristian for the purpose of reviewing the title. The opinions on this book are entirely my own.