Change Agent: Engaging Your Passion to Be the One Who Makes a Difference Paperback – Aug 9 2011
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About the Author
Os Hillman is the president of Marketplace Leaders, the author of twelve books, and writes a daily e-mail devotional called TGIF Today God Is First, which has over 200,000 subscribers worldwide. He has been featured on CNBC and NBC, in the LA Times and New York Times, and in other media as a spokesperson on faith and culture. Os attended the University of South Carolina and lives in the Atlanta metro area.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In addition to my duties as Director of the Technology Transfer Center for Louisiana Tech University, I am COO of a small high tech business and am paid staff as the Director of the two year Bible School based in our church. I have struggled in the past with the notion of what kind of man I am called to be since I seem to be called in so many directions. "Change Agent" has helped bring clarity to who and what I am as a change agent of God and has helped confirm in my heart that all my life experiences and training have prepared me for this role. Several years ago, the Lord told me that he was arranging a "marvelous confluence" of skills and abilities to prepare me for what he had called me to do. This book has helped me to see that I am not alone in this type of calling. I highly recommend it for Professionals who have struggled with their ministry identity as I have.
Although I have seen Os speak, this is his first book that I've read...but it won't be the last. Unfortunately, so many contemporary Christian books are little more than "spiritual bubblegum," which initially tastes good but then gets stale and loses its effect; they leave no beneficial long-term impact. But not this one! This is not a book that the author quickly pulled together in a year or two; it's immediately evident that the wisdom contained within "Change Agent" was gathered over a lifetime. The book has genuine depth, but it's also broken into extremely manageable pieces and parts that anyone can easily digest and apply to life.
Each chapter will inspire and equip you to break out of the shell that our culture has built around you, so you can be all that God designed you to be. Buy it...read it...allow it to marinate deep within you...and then buy copies for all of your friends. I wish I had a book like this 20 years ago.
My biggest problem with the book is its weak ecclesiology (Theology of the Church). For all its wonderful convictions and knowledge of the culture, the theology of the church is sadly lacking. This runs contrary to Jesus's words to Simon Peter about God using the Church to build his kingdom (Matt 16:18). Granted that the church is a community of believers gathered in Jesus' Name, a called out people (ekklesia), the role of the church is unfortunately relegated to the last chapter, instead of 'undergirding' every attempt to conquer any mountain. Even if I were to give Hillman the benefit of the doubt, that he meant the people of God to be the church, it is not clearly emphasized. It is true that one needs passion to become a change agent to make a difference. It is also true that one needs to be convicted about conquering the mountains in society. However, it needs to be done through the church and in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Another concern is the overwhelming focus on the 'top.' What about the rest? Mind you, God can choose to use anyone, anywhere.
In summary, this book has a noble purpose. It shines in giving examples even though some of the names given are not as credible over time. It also excels in terms of engaging readers through sections of easy to read stages and illustrations. Ultimately, it disappoints because of a weak theology of the church. It is a para-church implementation of the 7-Mountain strategy that is unsettling.
Rating: 3 stars of 5.
This book is supplied to me, courtesy of Charisma Publishing House without any obligation for a positive review. The comments made are freely mine.
If we are to impact the nation for Christ, seven areas must be affected: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family, and religion.
We have been losing influence in these seven area of culture because 1) we have separated ourselves and our nation from God, 2) the gospel of salvation has been emphasized over the gospel of the kingdom, and 3) the church does not have a biblical view of work and calling.
"We are each called to become change agents in the sphere of influence God has called us to impact." 10 God is raising up people for this time. "Influence in culture is only possible when those who want to exert influence have a message and a life others see and desire." 14 "God wants you to bring the kingdom of God into the territory He has given you so that His will can be done on earth as it is in heaven." 26 "If we are to become change agents, we must make the gospel an integral part of our life, our worldview, and our passion." 32)
God will see to it that we are trained. "When God gives a saint an assignment, the training ground fits the assignment." 41 "God's training ground usually is made up of life experiences that will contribute to the ultimate assignment God has for us." 42)
Hillman goes through the six stages and processes of the call of a change agent: divine circumstances, character development, isolation period, personal cross, problem solvers, and networks. He shares his own experiences at that of others (including biblical characters) in this process.
He then goes through each of the mountains giving examples of change agents and encouragement to those who want to be of influence. He includes points for each of the mountains, including suggestions for individuals and identifying what success would look like.
Hillman says, "For the last fifteen years I have devoted my life to helping Christians see that their working lives are not simply a place to collect a check, but a holy calling from God to reflect His glory and influence culture." 203 "There is a grassroots movement taking place across the United States right now. It involves the formation of community-based Christian coalitions made up of local churches, workplace leaders, and intercessors who desire to see change in their communities." 205 "If we are going to reclaim culture," Hillman believes, "local community transformation movements must be a part of that." 206 Three groups of people are vital to this movement: intercessors, pastors and nuclear church leaders, and workplace leaders. Hillman identifies four key ingredients required of Christian leaders: prayer, humility, unity, and knowledge of God's ways.
Hillman's final word is that if we want to see our cities transformed, workplace leaders who are change agents must be identified. They play the key role.
Are you ready to be a change agent?
You'll be encouraged to become a change agent when you read this book. But what happens then? Hillman provides a website and other resources.
This would be a great book for a study group in the workplace or a discipleship group at a church. Working with others who have the same calling as yours will be beneficial.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
This is a great book if you feel like your 'secular' job has no 'sacred' meaning because it takes you to a place where you feel that you can be an agent for good, Christ-centered love in your workplace.
As I already work at a church, I had a hard time sympathizing with the painting Os was trying to paint about people who work in unfulfilled careers. I also never saw what someone does as a 'secular' career not having 'sacred' value. I always felt that people can leave an impact where they are, whether that be as a mother, politician, pastor or post-man. But I can also see how someone picking up this book from the other spectrum might feel those things and this book would be highly valuable for them.
If you want a road-map to guide you toward being a change agent in your office, neighborhood or industry, then this is a good start.