There is so much that I could say about this book. It is so rare that a book resonates my own heart’s desires and passions. As I read it my heart felt like I was visiting with a friend who completely understands the desire that God placed in my heart over a decade ago…a wiser and more experienced friend. And this is just what I needed to read.
Kingdom Journeys: Rediscovering the Lost Spiritual Discipline is written by Seth Barnes–the founder of Adventures in Missions. The book is phenomenal and is a must-read for any Christian who feels like something is missing from life. Seth begins by presenting the problem currently present in my generation: the sense of entitlement to a comfortable life. We are consumed by a worldly desire for success, yet there is a great sense of discontentment and lack of fulfillment when we are considered to be “successful” in the world’s eyes. In the Church, we force ourselves to practice Spiritual Disciplines (which are important), only to find that the change we expect to find eludes us. Seth poses that this is because we have neglected Jesus’ primary teaching tool: the Kingdom Journey. Jesus did spend some time teaching with words, but His primary teaching tool was His own life and example. Jesus was constantly going and sending His disciples out, and they never returned unchanged.
I know from my own life that this is true. I constantly fail at being a “good Christian girl” in terms of many of the Spiritual Disciplines. I go to church and a Bible Study regularly, I read books in addition to reading the Bible. But none of these things have impacted me nearly as much as actually GOING and serving, especially in different cultures. When you leave the familiar, your heart is able to be changed in amazing ways because you are forced to rely on God and on the community with whom you travel. My 10+ mission trips (ranging from 1 week to 3 months in length) have radically impacted my life and my faith, and I feel so alive while I am serving. When I am on a “Kingdom Journey”, I know that this is what life is all about. I feel fulfilled and can see God at work so much more clearly. This book has awakened my desire to live like Jesus and to not live a safe, comfortable life (despite the fact that our culture drags us into such a life).
Seth masterfully mixes real life stories and Scripture to create a compelling argument for missions/Kingdom Journeys. I highlighted so many quotes and have so much to continue to ponder and live out. Some of the quotes I loved are:
“Restlessness is an itch that, if left unscratched, is a curse.” (pg. 45)
“We can’t be fully transformed in our own backyard. We need to journey.” (pg. 47)
“Routine is normal, even healthy, but if the ruts go too deep, our spirits begin to wither.” (pg. 57)
“Through discomfort, I’ve learned to depend on God when my natural instinct is to rely on my own skills and talents.” (pg. 57)
“For a spiritual discipline to be worthwhile, it must create space for God to change us from the inside out.” (pg. 62)
“You can’t be remade until you first allow yourself to be unmade.” (pg. 63)
“A Kingdom Journey is most effective when we abandon what we think we cannot abandon. With less, we discover the core of who we are.” (pg. 82)
“In the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine–and before we know it, our lives are gone.” (pg . 82)
“People need pain to grow. So much of spiritual maturity has to do with how we process pain. Discipline entails embracing the painful or unpleasant in the short-term in order to realize long-term gains.” (pg. 87)
And those are only my favorite quotes from the first 100 pages! This book is filled with wisdom that convicts. Seth speaks biblical truth and it needs to be considered by all who truly want to live like Jesus did.
I have already written too much…buy the book. Prepare to have your perspective changed–if you are open to it. Adventures in Missions offers short-term mission trips (Kingdom Journeys) that range in length from a week to a year. I traveled with them to Haiti in 2010 and it was truly an incredible experience. If you want to experience missions in a fresh, biblical way, go with AIM. If you are really looking for adventure, go on the World Race: 11 countries, 11 months, traveling just like Jesus commanded His disciples to travel. I have a friend who went on the World Race and her life was radically transformed.
Get the first chapter for FREE here: http://kingdomjourneysbook.com/