Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book: Organic Outreach for Families


Today brings another book review from Cross Focused Reviews. The book is by Kevin G & Sherry Harney and is titled Organic Outreach for Families. Published by Zondervan Publishers, it is third in the Organic Outreach Series. The first two are Organic Outreach for Ordinary People and Organic Outreach for Churches.

The fundamental principle of Organic Outreach for Families is to provide guidance for households on spreading the Gospel from home. This aim is addressed in three sections: Reaching Your Own Family; Raising Children of Light in a Dark World; Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse.

These sections build nicely on one another. The first goes into defining the Gospel and providing guidance on seeing the Gospel understood among your own family. This flows well. After all, one will have a great deal of difficulty turning a home into a lighthouse if the darkness holds the home.

Included in this section is a helpful chapter on sharing the Gospel with extended family. Extended family is one of the hardest groups of people to reach in America, it seems. The Harneys present the most important factor in this process: patience, patience, and more patience.

The next section of Organic Outreach for Families delves into one of the more challenging issues for Christian families in this time. (Well, and likely any other time.) That issue is the challenge of keeping a family drawn to the things of God while living in a world that strives to push other things on them. The ideas presented are helpful in general.

The Harneys did well to present which decisions they made as parents, but were generally fair in acknowledging that other choices can be made by God-honoring people. As a homeschool parent, I would have loved a longer discussion about the pros and cons of homeschooling, but that would have distracted from the overall pacing of the book. That may be a book that's not yet been written: a shared consideration of homeschooling, giving equal times to both the pro and con biased people.

Closing up Organic Outreach for Families is the section on specific ideas of how to establish your home as the base of the Gospel in your neighborhood. There are some good baseline ideas here. It is definitely of value to have statements of the methodology used by the Harney family.

It is here, however, that the weakness of this text appears. The suggestions and ideas are definitely of more immediate value in a suburban or urban context than they are in a rural situation. That does not make them useless, just realize that if you live away from a population center, you will need to be creative in your application of this work.

In all, this makes for a good read and discussion.

I did receive a copy of this text in exchange for the review. Book provided through CrossFocusedReviews.


  1. Doug,

    Thanks for being a part of the Organic Outreach for Families book review blog tour.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reviews


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