Since my name is Joe I was intrigued by the title of this book and requested a copy through Watermark’s Blogging for Books program. I’m glad I did. Troy Meeder does a great job weaving real-life stories (several from his own life) about everyday, ordinary men who make an extra-ordinary impact on the lives of those around them. In a real sense, these men are heroes for today – not because of their profession or popularity – but because of their single-minded commitment to core values of honesty, integrity, and loyalty.
Average Joe is a book that all men (and especially second chair leaders) should read. If they do, they will read stories about men who work with power tools for a living, men who can navigate s small vessel through storms, men who defend liberty on the battlefield, and men who sit high in the saddle. All of these men define what it means to be a friend and brother. These are not the stories of the successful leaders of high corporations or enormous churches. These are the men you see every day in your neighborhood, riding the bus, or sitting in from to you at church. Many of them have pretty remarkable stories of what it means to lead successfully – often two or three steps behind the man or woman with the title and the corner office. Men who are living lives of “normalcy and ‘never enough’.”
I was pleased to see a brief study guide included in the book that will help small groups of men discuss these ideas and encourage one another in their pursuit of honesty, integrity, and loyalty. These are values that seem to be universally appreciated by men and so often appear in our literary heroes. However, they also seem to be universally absent in our pop-culture heroes (i.e., celebrities). That may be the main reason that this book will resonate with men. It would be a good book to use in a men’s small group or with some friends. It’s only 148 pages long so it is a pretty accessible book – even for most men.
Meeder does a good job relating these stories to the character of God and how he values (based on the biblical narrative) the ‘average Joe’s’ of this world. If you struggle with feeling ‘good enough’ for God, this book may help give you some insights to challenge that concept. If you are a second chair leader who struggles with being the guy two steps outside of the spotlight this book may help to correct your thinking and empower you to serve with a renewed sense of worth and passion.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”