Book Review: “Go+Do: Daring to Change the World One Story at a Time” by Jay Milbrandt

by hamiltonmj1983

Milbrandt, Jay. Go+Do: Daring to Change the World One Story at a Time. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2012. Paperback, 208 pps, $14.99.

In Go+Do, Jay Milbrandt is putting for the call for American Christians to enter the foreign mission field. Unfortunately, the book is not organized in a way that allows the reader to follow a path from an argument to a conclusion; instead the 14 chapters are made up of stories (some related to each other, some completely unrelated) about the author’s own journey to many places in the world. Each chapter circles around the repeated them of going and doing, leaving one’s comfort zone and travelling overseas to witness the lives of other people. Milbrandt makes a point that we cannot always help specific situations, but simply travelling to another part of the world and listening to a people’s story can make an incredible difference in their (and our) lives.

While Milbrandt makes some excellent points, I have to disagree with him his idea that all Christians need to leave the country for mission work. Towards the end of the book, in Chapter 14, Milbrandt discuss a colleague of his, “Jim the Professor,” who had “a yearning to “go and do” in a community he loved and returned to his law school alma mater.” This professor obviously saw a mission field and an opportunity to help young people in an environment that he was familiar with. Yet Milbrandt, continually pushing for overseas missions, “global outreach, kept nagging at Jim the Professor to go overseas. I have an issue with this: as Christians we are all called to make disciples as we go in this world, yet we are not all called to leave our lives behind and travel overseas. The mission field in our own back yard, the U.S. of A., is big enough that we need to focus here as much as we are focusing overseas.

Jay Milbrandt makes some extremely good points, and the book is worth reading to understand the importance of understanding other cultures and reaching out to people different from ourselves. Ultimately, I think that Milbrandt misses the point of “calling” and how that affects what each of us is supposed to do.

Thanks to Tyndale House for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.