How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness: Serving People Just as They Are
July 17, 2014
By Martine Bates Sharp
Todd and Erin Stevens. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014. 213 pp. (Paperback).
What a shock it was to open a package and find this book. The first six words were very large, with the other words small and barely noticeable. Always willing to take one for the team, I gulped and opened the book. From the first page, I was hooked.
Todd Stevens is pastor of Friendship Community Church, Nashville, and his wife, Erin, ministers through the Nashville Strip Church. They wrote this story of how they do outreach, which is a fairly radical approach called “servant evangelism,” or “kindness outreach.” Feeding strippers at the local strip club once a month is only a part of what they do. The idea behind the approach is that if Christians will show love to others in practical ways, barriers are more likely to fall. The book is full of engaging stories about how the church, whose members appear to be fully engaged, is reaching people through acts of kindness.
As Todd puts it, “Without love, outreach methods become nothing more than marketing gimmicks.” Ouch ... I mean, Amen.