Misfits Welcome: Find Yourself in Jesus and Bring the World Along for the Ride by Matthew Barnett is the story of how God can use the "misfits" of society in huge ways if one will just surrender to Him. Barnett draws on twenty years as pastor of the Dream Center in Los Angeles to prove this premise.
Barnett shares of his own feelings of inadequacy and being a misfit when he started in the ministry as a twenty year old. He grew up the son of a megachurch pastor, which gave him no context with which to deal with the reality of life on the streets of Los Angeles. Using examples from his own life, as well as those of some of his staff (the majority of whom are former pimps, drug dealers, prostitutes, addicts, or from some other group society has deemed unreachable) Barnett shares stories of miraculous life changes that have occurred when people have given their lives, especially the parts that seem to not fit in and cause the most problems, to Christ.
Misfits Welcome is an easy read. The chapters are relatively short and since the content is more illustrative than instructive, it can be quickly read. I was impressed with Barnett's enthusiasm and complete faith in the concept he put forth. It's obvious this is an idea that has taken root in him, with some mind blowing results. The stories of change are very inspiring, and make even an occasional cynic like myself excited about what can happen if I can surrender the "misfit" parts of myself.
I recommend Misfits Welcome to anyone interested in seeing what God can do with a submitted life. Anyone already on that journey will be encouraged; anyone not sure if that's for them will be challenged. Either way, there is something for almost everyone.
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