Grace Emerges

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Misfits: Who Are You Including?"

I am re-posting below some of the reviews for this book, Misfits: Who Are You Including?, by John O'Keefe.  The reviews alone are worth reading!  Many other people are trying to say the same thing as I am about Acceptance. -- Brad

Misfits: Who Are You Including?

John O'Keefe 

'NO PUNCHES PULLED! This book is utterly compelling! It's a must read for all misfits of any description. It's a shell shocking treasure that offers much well needed encouragement to all who do not fit in, whatever the reason. On top of this it's a mightily kick-ass challenge to any ecclesiastical hierarchs or clerically ambitious who have let respectability blind them to the fact that their Lord was not respectable - he was (like so many of us) just another misfit. If you are comfortable with the way the Church is, then be prepared to be disturbed. On the other hand if you have been disturbed by modern Churchianity, then be prepared to be comforted and even inspired to gather back into your arms the baby you once threw out with the Church's dirty bath water. I honestly believe that this book will become a Christian best seller for, not only is it such a necessary theme, it's written in such a punchy and yet non-preachy way. It literally reaches out and grabs the attention, holding onto it until the end. Not to be overlooked!!'
Mark Townsend
Author of The Gospel of Falling Down

"The church in the 21st century is becoming irrelevant to the lives of many whom she would serve. This fact is well known among many in church leadership; even if it is seldom acknowledged publicly 

Often, the response to this decline is to circle the wagons around doctrine, theology, or ideology in an attempt to weather the storms of change and decline. In "Misfits"; John O'Keefe proposes a radically different approach:   Throw open the doors. Welcome all to their rightful place at God's table and allow a beautifully messy and truly authentic community to take shape. For to follow that outcast and misfit Jesus, we should truly embrace other misfits and welcome them into beloved community, as He did. "The Church needs to understand that we are all, or all should be, misfits and that our Churches need to be filled with misfits seeking to know and understand the divine in their lives."
The church might just find that the soul she saves is her own."
Roger McClellan,

"John O'Keefe is one of the original 'Outlaw Preachers.' He was an 'Outlaw' before being an 'Outlaw' was cool. So he's been on this journey for a while, and his journey has informed his passion for seeing the Church be open and welcoming to all. In his new book, he's provoking us all to ask some hard questions about how our churches/faith communities operate. I'm grateful for his voice and for his rebel call to inclusion."
Steve Knight

I love John's heart. He has two passions:  The church and those she fails to see at present. Hopefully this book will be one more helpful nudge to wake us from our slumber even as it serves to give the misfit in us all a reason to belong. 
Chad Holtz

"I have read many books that attempt to teach societal transformation. They give advice like pray, schedule a meeting, and pray that people come to the meeting. While that may be all well and good, this book is not like those books. Through personal experience narrative, John artfully invites you into the lives of those who dare not darken the door of a church building.

Instead of simply giving you hope that you can, indeed, make a marked difference in the lives of those outside the church walls, John provides practical, real-world, advice on how to embrace your 'other'.

This is a must read for all practitioners of our faith who take seriously Jesus' command to go into the world."
Brandon Mouserco-pastor, Ink Church
Moderator, Outlaw Preachers

When I walk into 'christian' bookstores I tend to stroll through the aisles and mentally categorize what I see ... almost as if in a grocery store.  Baby Food - okay, that's necessary for awhile. Candy and Snacks - hmmm ... tasty, okay on a limited basis, but of no real nutritional value. Frozen and Pre-Planned Meals - you know, the 12-steps to this and the 40 Days of that. Perhaps they make things a little more convenient, but they fall short on numerous counts.

Misfits would fall into the Health and Natural foods aisle. 

Reading Misfits brought back many memories and stirred up strong emotions. I have been involved with countercultural ministry over 25 years. I could put different names to the stories John shares throughout the book and the stories of rejection and exclusion would be the same. Hell, I could add my name to a number of those stories.

The first two emotions I encountered while reading Misfits were a profound sadness and anger. "I can't believe this crap is still happening! I thought we would have progressed much further than this by now!"

As I continued reading I ran across a single sentence that began to stir my spirit:  "We have gotten so used to thinking exclusion we have lost the ability to think inclusion."

I believe John has stumbled upon something very significant. It's as if exclusion is buried so deep within us that it has almost become part of our DNA, our subconscious modus operandi. No wonder we struggle against inclusion - even when trying to embrace it!

We are in need of a deep, internal change ... a 'born from above' experience, if you will, where God's expansive love and inclusion drives out our fear-based exclusivity. Perhaps this is part of the "new creation" promised by Scripture. May Mother Spirit birth such in all our hearts.

I believe the message within Misfits is something that the Spirit is speaking to the Church today ... Lord, give us ears to hear. Amen.
Pastor Nar Martinez
Spiritual Director / Spiritual Father with the Outlaw Preacher

In a time when church people continue to draw lines defining "who's in" and "who's out", O'Keefe gives us an impassioned plea to drop our differences, to end our judgmental exclusivity, and work with God to open our hearts wider--to be as inclusive as Christ's sacrifice, which was, after all, meant for everyone.
-Caleb J Seeling
Founder of
Senior editor for 

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