cause-within-you

Barnett, Matthew. The Cause within You: Finding the One Great Thing You Were Created to Do in This World. Carol Stream: Tyndale, 2011. 240pp. $14.99.

I am probably a bit biased here, but I have known and have had the privilege of being around Matthew Barnett and doing mission’s work at the LA Dream Center for many years now. If you have ever been around Matthew you know it can be an intoxicating experience of cause-drivenness and passion for the least of these all wrapped up int a fireball of a guy! He truly is the Master of Misfits and the Champion of Causes in this generation. Just knowing him has made me more aware of Jesus calling us to serve the least of these, the forgotten, the hurting, the destitute, and poor, tired, and the hungry.

In The Cause within You, Barnett urges readers to see that God creates us to do great things for his name and his kingdom. By sharing his story in the beginning and weaving it in and out of the rest of the chapters, he leads a reader through an inspirational ride of Scripture, reflection, and challenges that will move the reader from passive pew sitter to passionate pursuer of God dreams! Matthew urges readers that if God can use him in great ways, he can use anyone he chooses. It simply takes faith, and truly that is the crux. Faith inside a person may drive their thinking and activities, but the one’s looking at the faithful from the outside think they have gone crazy.

Well, maybe it does take a bit of craziness to do big God-sized things. Click To Tweet

Just saying. 🙂

The chapters are each written in a manner that will help you process living out a God-sized cause. This type of cause is more than a vocation or occupation. It drives you to get out of bed early and go to bed late…and do it over and over again. You will have to stand up to persecution and pushback, sometimes even from close friends and the hardest of all – family. Through all of this attitude is everything. How you talk to those who follow you, those who persecute you, those you serve, and those you wish to impact matters more than any other single trait. Maxwell once said attitude is everything to the successful, and Matthew Barnett is proof in the pudding! His dream was not an easy road, but the right attitude helped him navigate the straightaways, curves, and potholes that derail too many dreams.

All great dreams need great teams. Click To Tweet

The LA Dream Center and all it took to get there and now to run the multitude of programs and outreaches is all team based. Your cause may start in your heart but it must begin to burn in others too. Recruiting, training, empowering, and releasing high energy teams of staff and volunteers is paramount to your success. As my two daughters often say (because they hear me say it all the time). Teamwork makes the dream work! I got that from my time around the LA Dream Center and following the amazing cause based career of Matthew Barnett. What began in LA has now extended internationally through the Dream Center Network. Amazing!

I highly recommend this book to leaders who have a cause in their heart and need an inspirational roadmap for the journey to see it lived out. WIth discussion questions in the back this can be done alone or in a small group or especially with the team surrounding the cause! This book isn’t for everyone. Many who have seen dreams come and go will baulk at all the stories and the antidotes and the inspirational quotes. For some it may be too late, but you never know. Maybe an attitude change could change the outcome of your past faded desires. It’s easy to be negative to those living and asking others to live their dreams. I simply believe that God has greatness for us all and that can be different as night and day for his children, but still greatness is there for us all!

I gave this book 5 stars because I feel Barnett captured his story and found principles to help others live their own story. It isn’t simply hype to get you excited, but a clarion call to action for those who need our gifts the most. If you are happy where you are at, great. Don’t read this book. If you feel a cause burning inside you, I cannot recommend a more readable and approachable book than The Cause within You. Oh, and if you can, get out to the LA Dream Center for one of their missions activities. Trust me, you will never be the same afterward.