Jason Jaggard’s book Spark walks the reader through the importance of being able to answer: “What is one risk I can take this week that either makes me a better person or the world a better place?” It’s a challenging read, not in the sense of linguistics or grammer, but with what it does to you on the inside. It forces the reader to take a step back and see just how “in shape” their life really is. Essentially, a spark is the ignition behind a bigger change, a chance for us to use our God-given gifts and abilities for the benefit of others.
Risk-taking (and in a more Christian sense “Kingdom advancement”) is all about flexing and exercising our will to do so. When God prompts us to take a risk (pray for that person, give them money, accept this person into your home, share a meal with that family) and we ignore it, it really is no wonder that we stop hearing God prompt us to take risks.
Risks don’t have to be big; in fact Jaggard says that they shouldn’t be. He defines good risks as: immediate, controllable, challenging, and positive. Good risks are time sensitive, should engage our imagination, and stretch us to grow.
As a chronic reader, I understand Jaggard’s critique of being over educated. Our problem, in his words, is not being undereducated. In reality, we have the opposite problem: we are overeducated. Our problem lies not in our access to information, but in our ability to use and apply it.
“We keep learning, but we keep missing the reality that we possess the God-given capability to translate what we know into how we live. Nine times out of ten, we know the right thing to do, but we lack the will to carry it out…” (page 73)
In this book, Jaggard provides practical steps forward as well as an encouraging writing style. He is engaging and insightful and does a nice job of convincing the reader that they actually can make a difference in the world.
Bottom line: Definitely worth a read, especially if you can get a five week Spark Group going and find a huddle of people willing to answer that all important question, “What is one risk I can take this week that either makes me a better person or the world a better place?”
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the BloggingForBooks program offered by WaterBrook Multnomah publishing. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.