taking the words of Jesus seriously



Editor’s Note: This post is part of the Red Letter Book Club. It is a review of Sarah Cunningham’s new book, “The Well-Balanced World Changer: A Field Guide for Staying Sane While Doing Good.”

As world changers (which, I would argue, we are all called to be), this is the book you hate to have to read. But, indeed, you have to read it.

A world changer herself, Sarah Cunningham offers exactly the wisdom we must listen to if we are to “succeed.” While it is often the most difficult to hear, it is the stuff that refines vision, deepens convictions and propels us into the work set before us. Kinda sounds like most things that better allow us to faithfully follow Jesus…

I would argue that faithfully living into our calling is the best gift we can give the world. With that said, we must identify and steward our calling with great diligence and humility. Sarah creates the space for us to do just that.

Here are three things I appreciate most about this book. 

1. Tangible Insights Rooted in Kingdom Values:

Sarah offers very tangible insights into how to mobilize a vision outside the definitions often assumed by consumerism, power and reputation. Informed by kingdom values, they offer important nuance to topics of success, worth and leadership.

Let’s be honest, we all desire to see our goals unfold successfully (however we define it). While that is a fair desire, Sarah helps us differentiate between happiness and the success of our goals. In other words, we can become slaves to the very things we are called to do and misplace our worth, happiness, and fulfillment. This is stuff we know, but often fail to encounter and allow to inform our life and practice.

2. “Field Guide” Format

Sarah’s approach and format as a “field guide” is remarkably helpful as it creates clear, bite sized pieces of wisdom that are topically arranged around the stuff and questions we are all asking. The book is broken into sections (chapters) that have smaller sub-sections which largely stand-alone.

This allows Sarah the freedom to approach far more topics and questions, which range from where we find our identity to whether or not we should promote our own stuff. For the reader, it makes the content accessible and extremely easy to navigate.

3. Lived Rather Than Theoretical Content

There is a lot of communication “noise” floating around now days. Everyone has the next best idea and they sure do love to tell everyone how great it could be. They are talking like Michael Phelps, when they haven’t even learned how to swim. Sarah is someone worth listening to because she is actually living the content she is presenting. She’s had seasons of successfully clearing the hurdles and other seasons where she’s crashed right into them.  As a result, we get a book written with a humble pen that is rooted in experience, reflection and a heart to change the world.

This post is a review of Sarah Cunningham’s new book, “The Well-Balanced World Changer: A Field Guide for Staying Sane While Doing Good, ” currently featured on the Red Letter Book Club.

About The Author


Jon Huckins is a pastor and the Co-Founding Director of The Global Immersion Project; a peacemaking training organization helping individuals and communities move toward conflict equipped to heal rather than to win. After much international travel and study in the Middle East, Jon focuses much of his writing and speaking on peacemaking, local/global engagement and activating the Church as an instrument of peace in our world. He writes for numerous publications including USAToday, Red Letter Christians, Sojourners, and RELEVANT, is a contributing author to multiple books and has written three himself; "Mending the Divides: Creative Love in a Conflicted World," "Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community" and "Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling." Jon regularly speaks at churches, universities, and conferences and has a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in theology and ethics. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Jan, three daughters (Ruby, Rosie & Lou) and one son (Hank) where they co-lead an intentional Christian community seeking to live as a reconciling presence in their neighborhood of Golden Hill.

Related Posts

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
    Check which Newsletter(s) you'd like to receive:    

You have Successfully Subscribed!