I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into when I got this book. This was in part because I was unfamiliar with it’s author, Felicity Dale. However, it turns out that I loved it and am very thankful I got it.
The book’s subtitle summarizes it pretty well: “Stories of real-life men and women simply being the church.” Each chapter tells a part of someone’s story, and how God worked through them in simple and yet significant ways. This isn’t a collection of only the best, most unbelievable stories, with all of the difficulties glossed over. I feel that many stories I’ve heard elsewhere which are meant to be inspiring end up sounding unreal. But this isn’t the case with An Army of Ordinary People. More than anything, these stories are honest and believable. There is often significant pain and frustration, and often the churches which were started are no longer meeting.
The book generally focuses on “simple” church, which to my mind is synonymous with what Neil Cole and Frank Viola refer to as organic church. In fact, the stories in this book reminded me a lot of the stories Neil shares in his book Organic Church. In both cases, I find these stories to be inspiring. Because of their authenticity, it makes me think, “I could do something similar!” I found it easy to imagine the events recorded actually happening, so why couldn’t it happen here in my context?
Felicity takes time at the conclusion of each chapter to do a bit of teaching about the simple expression of church. I believe this could be specifically helpful for those less familiar with the topic. The end of the book also contains a list of resources to help in taking the next step. I’m certainly planning on taking some time to go through these. Overall, I definitely recommend this book.