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Spiritual Revolution: The Story of OM [Paperback]

By Ian Randall (Author)
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Item Number 193409  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 14, 2008
Publisher   Authentic
ISBN  1850787662  
EAN  9781850787662  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Spiritual Revolution' tells the story of 50 years of Operation Mobilization; from the conversion of George Verwer, the founder and then International Director of the movement, to becoming one of the largest mission agencies in the world. From humble beginnings, this book takes the reader through the growth and changes that now see OM with over 4,000 staff in more than 100 countries.

Publishers Description
'Spiritual Revolution' tells the story of 50 years of Operation Mobilization (OM). Beginning with an account of George Verwer's conversion and OM's early outreach in Mexico, God's faithfulness is seen as OM has grown to include today more than 4,000 workers serving in over 100 countries.A highly-readable account of OM's history attractive to all Christians interested in mission, Spiritual Revolution is more than just a story. Author Ian Randall presents us with significant insights which will be of importance to serious students of mission.The spirituality underlying the organization, the pioneering of short-term mission, and the catalytic impact of OM in East Asia, Latin America, southern Africa, and beyond are among the important missiological themes covered in this ground-breaking history.Also included is an 8 page illustrated pictoral history with black & white and color photographs.

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More About Ian Randall

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ian M. Randall (Ph.D., University of Wales) was appointed as Director of Baptist and Anabaptist Studies at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague, in 1999 and has continued to serve IBTS, from 2002 onwards as Senior Research Fellow. He has supervised and currently supervises a number of PhD students. He has published many articles and a number of books, of which the most significant recent books are Evangelical Experiences (Paternoster, 1999), The English Baptists of the Twentieth Century (Baptist Historical Society, 2005), A School of the Prophets: 150 Years of Spurgeons College (Spurgeons College, 2005) and What a Friend we have in Jesus (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2005). He is currently working on a volume on the history of Operation Mobilisation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. David Hilborn (PhD, Nottingham University) is director of studies of the North Thames Ministerial Course, having served as head of theology for the UK Evangelical Alliance since 1997. In that role he was responsible for the publication of a number of significant books and reports on topics where evangelicals differ from each other, including reports on hell, the Toronto Blessing and homosexuality. Formerly a United Reformed Minister, David is now an ordained clergyman of the Church of England. He is married to Mia, a hospital chaplain. They have two children.

Ian Randall has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Paternoster Biblical and Theological Monographs

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Highly Recommended for Global Mission Leaders  Dec 24, 2008
(review also published at

As a history of the first 50 years of Operation Mobilization (OM) Spiritual Revolution is the story of a movement. First, the book is the story of the conception and development of what is now one of the largest mission agencies on earth, OM. Second, this is a story of a genuine spiritual movement. The passion in the hearts of several college boys in Illinois and their subsequent radical, authentic discipleship coupled with their visionary and empowering leadership has led to the births of hundreds, if not thousands of new ministries. The book lists 3 full single spaced pages of new ministries started by former OMer's, among those are organizations such as Frontiers, Gospel for Asia, SAT-7, and so on.

Currently, OM has 5,400 missionaries from 91 nationalities working in 110 countries and on board 2 ocean going ships. 37 million people in more than 140 nations have been on one of OM's ships (p. 219). The ships have welcomed 38 million people in nearly 500 cities and distributed 50 million Scripture portions (OMUSA website) More than 125,000 young people have been drawn to the mission training of OM (OMUSA website). Overall, over 100 million people have been touched by OM's gospel ministry. They have impacted presidents, global influencers as well as the poorest of poor. Wow. Read those numbers again. Amazing!

I read this book to help me dream. I need help dreaming of what could be. To that end, this book was extremely satisfying, even exhilarating at points. But I also was challenged in my dreaming about what makes a "great" movement. Here are a few of my personal take aways. Please note that I am in every way an outside observer of OM having acquired almost all of my knowledge of OM from this book.

- The most profound aspect of OM, especially when observed in retrospect, is its humble origins. The following is, for me, the most stirring passage in the book: "But there was no great scheme for the future when the three would-be missionaries and an old Dodge truck loaded with Gospels left Chicago, virtually unnoticed, fifty years ago. There was no thought of building a global mission agency, no idea of ships, and no strategy to mobilise tens of thousands into global missions. But clearly God had a wider design from the start and it is his sovereign purpose which has become OM's ongoing story." (p. 221). Oh how refreshing is the story of the origin of OM. The grand agenda in the hearts and minds of George Verwer, Dale Rhoton, and Walter Borchard was simply authentic discipleship of Jesus.

This really challenges me. I have big dreams. But do I dream of simple obedience? Do I despise the small things?

- I am most personally challenged by the culture of OM and Send the Light (the first organization founded by Verwer which is now one of the largest literature distribution companies in the world): radical, simple, risky, sometimes awkward, discipleship. This is truly a "God or nothing" organization. Verwer himself is infamous for the stories of his "crazy" discipleship. Whether the story of him taking off all of his clothes to give to a poor man and then walking back to his office in his underwear, or his challenges and impassioned talks to Christian audiences, George Verwer's legacy is simple obedience to the Lord manifested in a wartime lifestyle.

I am a missions pastor at a very large, very influential church with tons of mobilization potential. We are tapping into some of that potential currently. But am I calling our people towards radical obedience of the Lord? Am I modeling that for them? In my analysis of the history, one of the main reasons OM grew so fast and furiously was the eccentric commitment towards radical living of its founder. In my context, I must model radical living if I am going to have any influence towards others to that end.

- The most stunning aspect of OM for me is their global orientation. Think about it: the ministry started by 3 American college boys in 1957 and by 1963 had spread to both Europe and India. It grew rapidly to have its main base of operations in Europe. Now, it is perhaps the most genuinely global missions organization in the world today. This is evidence for serious gifting and commitment to raise up indigenous leadership. I am stunned as to how fast OM has been able over its 50 years to start new ministries in new countries and raise up local leadership for them.

-I will remember how the story of OM is a story of organizational change. Some of the major changes in the organization's history had to do with financial policy, the attitude towards buying property, approach to ministry (from mostly mass evangelism to holistic ministry), and policy over women in leadership. One thing that I have learned from my parents is that good leadership embraces good change. With incredibly rapid personnel mobility comes rapid change. Add on to that diverse cultural orientations of the staff and you get a constant management challenge with untold potential.

- Lastly, I will remember how OM and Send the Light model pioneering effective mass evangelism techniques. Who would have thought that a ocean ship would be wildly effective for mass gospel dissemination one hundred years ago?! Just look at the numbers at the beginning of this article to see the proof that OM has literally touched tens of millions in both the word and deed of the Gospel.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to especially younger global leaders. While the names and places might bore you for a few pages, enduring to the end will bless you with the story of God's faithfulness towards those who are obedient, not merely those who have big visions. Big dreams, after all, are mere vanity without the proof of simple obedience.

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