By Justice Justice
Jeff Goins is a freelance writer, a blogger, an author and a sought-after speaker who works for Adventures in Missions, a non-profit, international organization committed to making Christian missions known worldwide. With an extensive background in mission trips to Spain, Mexico, Taiwan and all over North America, Jeff continually seeks ways to bring the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are most in need of it.
Happily married with a son, Jeff Goins lives in Nashville, Tenn. His first book, “Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life,” offers an honest look at Jeff’s own experiences in living out the Christian walk, especially as relates to Christian missions, and the responsibility each Christian has to continually be challenged and shaped by God’s calling.
Broken World Ministry
As the title suggests, this book was written with a single overarching goal in mind: to challenge Christians to take action in a broken world, even when it requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone.
Very early on in the book Jeff defines what he means by the term wrecked — “it means to have a transformation that goes beyond mere words—to be introduced to another way of life, to follow in the footsteps of a teacher who is calling you through the eye of a needle. Often it involves being catalyzed by an encounter with pain. The process is horrible and ugly and completely gut-wrenching—and at the same time, beautiful. It is real and hard and true. Most of all, it is necessary” (p. 32).
The transformative experience Jeff talks about so much throughout his book, i.e. “being wrecked,” happened to him on a mission trip in Spain during his college days. He remembers a certain man begging for food in the streets. Having just finished a Bible study with his friends and teammates, they walked on by the man, despite his cries “in the name of Jesus Christ,” to give him something to eat. As Jeff was far enough away from the man to feel somewhat comfortable again, a voice in his mind told him that the right thing to do was to go back and give the man some food.
Indeed, Jeff did return to comfort the man, and after that experience, he was never the same. As Jeff recalls, “I had passed people on the street before, I was sure of it. My usual response was to ignore them, to pretend I didn’t see. I thought this was wise, that I was showing discernment. But, the truth was I was scared. For years, I was trapped by fear, paralyzed from doing the right thing…that night, though, something changed. Something good and true was shaken loose, and I didn’t want to lose it” (p. 72).
A Comfortable Existence
The reality of a broken world met Jeff directly in the face that night in Spain, and since then, he has not been happy settling for a “comfortable” Christian existence. Indeed, Jeff’s book is full of stories about various people who have been submissive to God’s calling to help the downtrodden. One of the main points Jeff makes in his book is that a Christian’s calling to serve God is a communal affair, not something meant to be done alone. The Church, that is, each individual who follows Jesus Christ, must work together to bring love, forgiveness and reconciliation to the world.
In his chapter titled “From Wrecked to Committed,” Jeff discusses how difficult it can be to consistently commit, especially to a cause for Christ. Indeed, Jeff even confesses that most of his life, he has been an “epic failure” when it comes to committing. It took some years for Jeff to realize the importance of sticking to a calling, even when everything in him was telling him not to continue trying.
For example, there was one point where he really wanted to leave a particular job he had, but he felt a call from God to stay; in the end he stuck it out, and he ended up growing because of it. Committing to something as simple as a temporary job helped grow Jeff’s character, and this is exactly the type of character building Jeff encourages his Christian readers to embrace.
Goins’s book is designed to challenge all Christians to live — a little, or a lot — outside of their comfort zones and to embrace the momentous calling God has given his Church in a broken and hurting world.
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