After writing several books for leaders, my new book Shadow Christians, is for everyday believers who work outside the spotlight. Here is an excerpt to introduce you to this exciting project.
Shadow Christians are people who work in dimly lit margins, in the shadows created by the spotlight shining on others. They are believers who serve quietly, often anonymously, doing the work that keeps churches, organizations, families, and communities functioning. Shadow Christians make an impact even when no one knows their names. They care for children, sponsor student events, drive elderly friends to medical appointments, prepare meals others enjoy, give money to sustain ministries, set up for meetings, and change diapers (for the very young and the very old).They take on service roles, often several levels down the organizational chart, that help churches and ministries accomplish their mission.Their service makes more visible leaders successful.
Shadow Christians are the unseen army—millions strong—who take their faith seriously, see themselves as role players in God’s grand plan, and seldom give any thought to being recognized for their service. My study of characters in the biblical shadows, unnamed but incredibly significant, led me to two important conclusions: God chooses and uses shadow Christians. He relates to them intimately and tenderly, places high value on their anonymous contributions, and uses them as his essential workforce to accomplish amazing things. That leads to another, more personal, conclusion: You matter. You are likely a shadow Christian. You don’t have thousands of social media followers, have never spoken at a conference, and have never been asked to share your opinion on public issues. You serve in anonymity, and because of that, you may feel what you do is insignificant. You wonder if what you do, even in ministry for God, really matters to him or makes any difference. Those doubts are baseless. You are as vital to your family, church, and community as the unnamed people in the Bible were to God’s plans in their era. You may also suffer from a spiritual inferiority complex. Since you aren’t well known and don’t consider yourself particularly talented, you may wonder why (or even if) God wants to have a personal relationship with you. Given the global fascination with celebrities, it’s easy to believe popularity equals significance. That’s the way the world system functions but not God’s kingdom. God relates to people without regard to popular (and often misguided) evaluations of their loveliness, desirability, or talents. God values people by a different set of standards.
Shadow Christians will not only help change your perspective, but the book also contains a small group study guide to help you train others. You can check it out here.