If you enjoy reading Lucado’s work you will like his most recent book, “Out Live Your Life.” (Thomas Nelson, 2010). If you don’t care for his work there is little here to change your mind. My general assessment is that I was a little underwhelmed and disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, Lucado is a great story-teller. This collection of stories – based on stories from the first 12 chapters of Acts – are at times hard-hitting, get-off-the-couch calls to action and at other times overly sentimental less-than-inspiring tired stories.
One of the qualities that I admire most about today’s Next Gen leaders is their deep commitment to authenticity and soul-transforming service to others. So when I read through the first chapter of “Out Live Your Life” I was excited to see how Lucado might develop this theme. He describes in clear terms how many of today’s social ills – orphans, hunger, etc – could be easily solved by the American church. In obvious understatement he writes: “We have enough food to feed the hungry. And we have enough bedrooms to house the orphans.”
What follows are stories of mostly ordinary people who have learned to see people through the eyes of Jesus, have opened their homes in a spirit of hospitality, or were martyred for their faith. These are tories of inspiration of what Jesus can do in the lives of those who are willing. Along the way Lucado offers some good advice as we strive to be people who are committed to performing works of service: “Do good things. Just don’t do them to be noticed. You can be too good for your own good, you know.” (p. 94).
So I will recommend “Out Live Your Life” to others and will certainly use some of the illustrations in teaching, speaking, and preaching. I may even be willing to use it in small group (with the group discussion guide included in the book). “Out Live Your Life” is good, not great.