Saturday, September 6, 2008

God's Troublemakers

Book Review
God's Troublemakers: How Women of Faith are Changing the World, by Katharine Rhodes Henderson

The women leaders in this book often knew nothing about the public issues that caught their attention. It was opening their hearts to human need and risking a response that was the catalyst. Opting out is not viable, for God can use all of us, however incapable we may feel.
In God's Troublemakers, Katharine Rhodes Henderson describes the lives and ministries of women of faith who are actively working to change the world around them. Henderson interviewed these women and found recurring themes in their work, including the energy they gain from working with individuals, their thoughts on redefining leadership, and their practical responses to the problems they face.

Although I found the organization of the book a little hard to follow, the stories of the women are fascinating. Henderson captures the experiences that led these women to begin grass-roots organizations, as well as the ways these leaders challenge their religious communities while remaining deeply committed to their faith. It is inspiring to see how these women are building bridges between the secular and the spiritual by helping the people around them.

Henderson concludes with her own story of how these interviews inspired her to create Face to Face/Faith to Faith, a program that brings teenagers from different faiths together each summer to promote activism and social change. Henderson's story demonstrates how she personally used the lessons she learned from the religious leaders in the book and encourages readers to do the same.

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