ABOUT THE BOOK
Popular blogger Shannan Martin offers Christians who are longing for a more meaningful life a simple starting point: learn what it is to love and be loved right where God has placed you.
For Christ-followers living in an increasingly complicated world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to live a life of intention and meaning. Where do we even begin?
Shannan Martin offers a surprisingly simple answer: uncover the hidden corners of our cities and neighborhoods and invest deeply in the lives of people around us. She walks us through her own discoveries about the vital importance of paying attention, as well as the hard but rewarding truth about showing up and committing for the long haul, despite the inevitable encounters with brokenness and uncertainty. With transparency, humor, heart-tugging storytelling, and more than a little personal confession, Martin shows us that no matter where we live or how much we have, as we learn what it is to be with people as Jesus was, we'll find our very lives. The details will look quiet and ordinary, and the call will both exhaust and exhilarate us. But it will be the most worth-it adventure we will ever take.
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“This is a message the world needs. So often we overcomplicate ‘service’ or this elusive call to ministry when all the while ministry is right in front of us. Shannan reminds us of the simple, yet beautiful call to love our neighbor and what that could really look like today. We are reminded that extravagant love in ordinary moments does indeed lead to an extraordinary life.”
—Katie Davis Majors
“Shannan's brilliance and grace invites us into the narrow way of Jesus, a path beyond walls, borders and fences. God met me in fresh and unexpected ways through this book, and I believe He'll do the same for you.”
“Sometimes when reading a book, I think “I’ll recommend this to that group” or “this one goes go that community,” but hand to heaven, I would put this book in every single pair of hands across ideology, camps, and tribes. Part storytelling, part prophetic, with dizzyingly wonderful writing, Shannan brings us back to the neighborhood, back to ordinary tables, back to a life we know in our deepest hearts is meant for us. I love her. I love this book.”
“This is the book we all need right now. If you're longing for authentic community but aren't sure where to begin, Shannan and this beautifully written book are the perfect guide. I truly believe when we stand together we stand a chance. I cheered along with every word.”
“I was terrified of being ordinary,“ and with that one sentence Shannan Martin sums up every single one of us. Certainly me. And then she deconstructs the cliché of ordinary and puts it back together with pictures and stories and sidewalks full of people who will make you want to cry or sing or despair or dance or rail or just quietly whisper, amen. This book is a new pair of eyes. Go ahead, open them!”
—Lisa Jo Baker
“In a world where hope seems dim and solutions feel complicated and partisan, Shannan Martin offers us a starting point that is as radical as it is domestic: widen your circle, hush your mouth, and pay close attention.
This book is the right book for this moment in time and I simply cannot get over it. I either laughed or cried on almost every page. We need these lyrical, prophetic words now more than ever before.”
“These are the days when we could all use a firm but gentle nudge to extend extra kindness to the people around us. Shannan reminds us to pay attention, look outside of ourselves, to lay aside our preconceived judgments, and stay put, bearing with each other, carrying each other‘s burdens, and finding Jesus at the center of it all.”
“The Ministry of Ordinary Places tears down the high and mighty calling we’ve often conjured in our minds about how the faithful serve God and instead invites us to see a sacred call in the faces of our neighbors, to smell the holy incense in ashtrays filled with crooked cigarette butts, or to see the broken bread set before us in a Burger King table for two. Shannan challenges who our neighbor is then offers a glimpse of what it might look like to stay put, stick around, and find that our best life is one where we simply pay attention to that common ache to be known and seen and loved, just as we are. In a book that’s both challenging and down to earth, she leads us into a theology of ordinary places, of neighborliness, secondhand smoke, and the holy ground of discovering our way home is always together.”
“Through ordinary stories of mustard seeds, lost coins, and surly prodigals,Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God has come near and we are called to be its ambassadors in our everyday lives. In the tradition of Jesus and all the best storytellers, Shannan uses her ordinary, beautiful, oh-so- relatable life to show us that we are called to embody the love of God in our communities and that God has equipped us with everything we need to be ministers right where we are. Full of grace, humor, and kindness, Shannan makes you believe that your voice, your gifts, your perspective are so needed to help mend our broken world, proclaiming that yes, even now, the Kingdom of God has come near.”
“Our nonstop consumer society seduces us into forsaking the ordinary. Even as believers, we are prone to aspire to do sexy ministry that garners headlines and warrants photo ops. But, Shannan Martin, helps us resist these impulses by calling the Body to reclaim the sanctity and significance of ordinary places. Through personal stories, theology, and Scripture she helps us discern God’s call upon our lives right where we are and illuminates why the most faithful ministry is oftentimes mundane, overlooked, and seemingly unimpressive. This book will help you thrive in your faith in practical and rooted ways!”
“Photographers often talk about the "golden hour" of each day —the hour just before the sun slips beyond the horizon. The light, they tell us, is perfect, then. You've probably seen it? All of everything around us seems to glow with the murmur of heaven — the streetlights, the graffiti on the walls, the rainbow'd puddles of oil-slicked water and the golden heads of wheat that bow to a gentle breeze. In these pages, Shannan Martin places a gentle hand on our shoulder and whispers quiet and profound words of truth: "The Golden Hour is here — right now — with these people in this place at this moment. Now." Heaven is all around us, and this book invites us, as only Shannan can, to awaken to a life where every ordinary moment shimmers with gold.”