The Hole in Our Gospel
"Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary." - St. Francis of Assisi. It's 1998 and Richard Stearns, the new President of World Vision, is sitting across from an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda, adjusting to the tragic situation...
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"Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary." - St. Francis of Assisi.
It's 1998 and Richard Stearns, the new President of World Vision, is sitting across from an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda, adjusting to the tragic situation in which he finds himself. Just 60 days before, Stearns had been the CEO of Lenox, America's finest tableware company. He drove a Jaguar to work every day and lived in a 10-bedroom house outside Philadelphia. This is the story of how the author left that position as a corporate CEO to lead an international humanitarian organization, and his passionate call for people of faith to change the world by changing the way they look at Scripture.
Stearns reminds us that Christians are supposed to love their neighbors, and because our world is so interconnected, the entire planet is our neighborhood. Everyone matters to God. Everyone should matter to us. Using his own life as an example, he explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel of love.
"Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary." - St. Francis of Assisi
It's 1998 and Richard Stearns' heart is breaking as he sits in a mud hut and listens to the story of an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda. His journey to this place took more than a long flight from the United States to Africa. It took answering God's call on his life, a call that hurtled him out of his presidential corner office at Lenox-America's finest tableware company-to this humble corner of Uganda.
This is a story of how a corporate CEO faced his own struggle to obey God whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Using his own journey as an example, Stearns explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel.
Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again.
?Read this compelling story and urgent call for change?Richard Stearns is a contemporary Amos crying ?let justice roll down like waters?.? Justice is a serious gospel-prophetic mandate. Far too many American Christians for too long a time have left the cause to ?others.? Read it as an altar call.?
--Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, BC
?Rich Stearns calls us to exhilarating obedience to God's life-altering, world-changing command to reflect his love to our neighbors at home and globally. The Hole in Our Gospel is imbued with the hope of what is possible when God's people are transformed to live radically in light of his great love."
--Gary Haugen, President & CEO, International Justice Mission
?Richard Stearns is quite simply one of the finest leaders I have ever known.... When he became president of World Vision I had a front row seat to witness the way God used his mind and heart to inspire thousands.... His new book, The Hole In Our Gospel will call you to a higher level of discipleship.... Now is the time...Richard Stearns has the strategy...your move!?
--Bill Hybels, Founding and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL
?Rich Stearns has given us a book that makes absolutely clear what God hopes for and expects from each of us.... He reminded me of my personal responsibilities and the priority I must give them and also where life's true rewards and fulfillment are to be found.?
--Jim Morris, former executive director, United Nations World Food Program
"World Vision plays a strategic role on our globe. As the largest relief organization in the history of the world, they initiate care and respond to crisis. Rich Stearns navigates this mercy mission with great skill. His book urges us to think again about the opportunity to love our neighbor and comfort the afflicted. His message is timely and needed. May God bless him, the mission of World Vision and all who embrace it."
--Max Lucado, author of 3:16?The Numbers of Hope, Minister of Writing and Preaching, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
?Rich Stearns has penned a passionate and persuasive book aimed at Christians who find themselves absorbed with their own existence, pursuing the American dream of health, wealth and happiness. Rich traces his own spiritual journey from having it all, to sacrificial living on behalf of those who have nothing. Not only is Rich eloquent, he's right.?
--Kay Warren, Executive Director HIV/AIDS Initiative at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA
"An urgent, powerful summons to live like Jesus. Stearns weaves solid theology, moving stories, and his own journey of faith into a compelling call to live the whole Gospel. Highly recommended!"
--Ronald J. Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action, Author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
?With passionate urging and earnestness, Rich Stearns challenges Christians to embrace the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ by embracing the neediest and most vulnerable among us. After reading the moving stories, the compelling facts and figures, and Stearns? excellent application of scripture and his own experiences at World Vision, you will no doubt be asking yourself: What should I do??
--Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship
?This book is a clarion call for the church to arise and answer the question, "Who is my neighbor?"... If you read this book, you will be inspired, but if you do what this book is asking, you will be forever changed. Rich Stearns' book is like a safari for hurting souls that cannot be written in the safety of an office suite.... If you have been feeling something missing or an aching emptiness inside, read The Hole in our Gospel. It will show you how to fill that void!?
--T.D. Jakes Sr., The Potter's House of Dallas, Inc.
?Rich Stearns? book is showing us through stories and examples how it is better to see a sermon rather than hear one. This is an important book for all of us!?
--Tony Hall, US Ambassador and former US Congressman
?This is much more than ?just another book? from a Christian leader. It's a message to Christendom that we all need.?
--Dr. Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University, author of Red Letter Christians
?This book represents a powerful personal story; face to face experiences with the poor which changed the author's life, plus, an insightful scriptural commentary. As happened with Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision; Richard Stearns' heart has been broken with the things that break the heart of God. Now, Stearns is using his considerable CEO skills to serve the poor and oppressed. I highly recommend this book.?
--John M. Perkins, President, John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development, Inc.
Richard Stearns brought nearly 25 years of corporate experience to World Vision when he became the president of its US operations in June 1998. Stearns holds an MBA form the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career began in marketing with the Gillette Company. From 1977 to 1985, he held various roles with Parker Brothers Games, culminating in his appointment as president in 1984. In 1985, he became a vice president at The Franklin Mint, then joined Lenox in 1987 as president of Lenox Collections. In 1995, Stearns was named president and chief executive officer of Lenox Inc. As president of World Vision Inc., Stearns is responsible for US operations, which include fund raising, advocacy, and program development. Stearns and his wife, Renee, have been World Vision supporters since 1984. They have five adult children and live in Bellevue, Washington.