Books
Free resources for the community

The Redwood Gospel Mission provides free books and resources to help mobilize the community so they may grow in
interacting with those in need.


Contact us at 707.578.1830 to arrange getting your books!
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"THE HOLE IN OUR GOSPEL"

What Does God Expect of Us?

Is our faith just about going to church, studying the Bible and avoiding the most serious sins-or does God expect more?
 

Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?
 

Ten years ago, Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns' journey there took much more than a long flight to Africa. It took answering God's call on his life, a call that tore him out of his corner office at one of America's most prestigious corporations-to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.
 

The Hole in Our Gospel is the compelling true story of a corporate CEO who set aside worldly success for something far more significant, and discovered the full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life. He uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel-the whole gospel-was always meant to be a world changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with us.

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"UNDER THE OVERPASS"

Ever Wonder What it Would Be Like to Live Homeless?

Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities—from Washington D.C. to San Diego— and they put themselves to the test.

For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant uncertainty and danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection—and all of this by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they’d always known. . . to discover firsthand what it means to be homeless in America. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world—and may even change your life.

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"SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME"

A modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together.

Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” in the 1960’s by hopping a train. Untrusting, uneducated, and violent, he spends 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high-priced deals—an international arts dealer who moves between upscale New York galleries and celebrities.

It seems unlikely that these two men would meet under normal circumstances, but when Deborah Hall, Ron's wife, meets Denver, she sees him through God's eyes of compassion. When Deborah is diagnosed with cancer, she charges Ron with the mission of helping Denver.

From this request, an extraordinary friendship forms between Denver and Ron, changing them both forever. A tale told in two unique voices, Same Kind of Different as Me weaves two completely different life experiences into one common journey. There is pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.

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"WHAT DIFFERENCE DO IT MAKE?"

Some Stories Just Can’t Be Stopped. . .

What Difference Do It Make? continues the hard-to-believe story of hope and reconciliation that began with the New York Times bestseller, Same Kind of Different as Me. Ron Hall and Denver Moore, unlikely friends and even unlikelier coauthors―a wealthy fine-art dealer and an illiterate homeless African American―share the hard-to-stop story of how a remarkable woman’s love brought them together. Now, in What Difference Do It Make? Ron and Denver along with Lynn Vincent offer:
 

  • more of the story―with untold anecdotes, especially Ron’s struggle with his difficult father and Denver’s dramatic stint in Angola prison

  • the rest of the story―how Same Kind of Different as Me came to be written and changed the lives of its authors

  • the ongoing story―true tales of hope from people whose lives have been changed by Ron and Denver’s story and how they make a difference in their worlds

  • your part in the story―wise, practical, and hard-lived guidance for how you can make a difference to those in need

  • plus intriguing extras―including full-page color samples of Denver’s paintings


Deeply moving but never sappy or sentimental, What Difference Do It Make? answers its own question with a simple and emphatic answer. What difference can one person (or two) make in the world? A lot!

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"WHEN HELPING HURTS"

How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor. . . and Yourself.

Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good.

But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy—and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself.

Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out. 

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"HELPING WITHOUT HURTING IN CHURCH BENEVOLENCE"

When a low-income person asks your church for help, what do you do next?

God is extraordinarily generous, and our churches should be, too. Because poverty is complex, however, helping low-income people often requires going beyond meeting their material needs to holistically addressing the roots of their poverty. 

But on a practical level, how do you move forward in walking with someone who approaches your church for financial help?

From the authors of When Helping Hurts comes Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence, a guidebook for church staff, deacons, or volunteers who work with low-income people.

Short and to the point, this tool provides foundational principles for poverty alleviation and then addresses practical matters, like:

  • How to structure and focus your benevolence work

  • How to respond to immediate needs while pursuing long-term solutions

  • How to mobilize your church to walk with low-income people

 

With practical stories, forms, and tools for churches to use, Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence is an all-in-one guide for church leaders and laypeople who want to help the poor in ways that lead to lasting change.

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"BECOMING WHOLE"

Western Civilization is wealthier, but it isn’t happier.

We are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth, but according to research, we aren’t becoming happier. Families and communities are increasingly fragmented, loneliness is skyrocketing, and physical and mental health are on the decline. Our unprecedented wealth doesn’t seem to be doing us much good.

Yet, when we try to help poor people at home or abroad, our implicit assumption is that the goal is to help them to become like us. "If they would just do things our way, they’d be fine!"

But even when they seem to pursue our path, they too find that the American Dream doesn’t work for them. What if we have the wrong idea altogether? What if the molds we are using to help poor people don’t actually fit any of us? What if the goal isn’t to turn other countries into the United States or to turn America’s impoverished communities into its affluent suburbs?

In Becoming Whole (building on the best-selling When Helping Hurts), Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic look at the true sources of brokenness and poverty and uncover the surprising pathways to human flourishing, for poor and non-poor alike. Exposing the misconceptions of both Western Civilization and the Western church about the nature of God, human beings, and the world, they redefine success and offer new ways of achieving that success. Through biblical insights, scientific research, and practical experience, they show you how the good news of the kingdom of God reshapes our lives and our poverty alleviation ministries, moving everybody involved towards wholeness.

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"THOSE WHO HOPE"

Lord, the LORD Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me. — Psalm 69:6

For fifty years Sonoma Gospel Mission has sheltered the poor of Santa Rosa—meals, beds and showers—while offering a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Now an ambitious developer, Buddy Grace, has plans to gentrify the run-down neighborhood and move the mission elsewhere.

 

When the mission resists his plans, he cooks up a lawsuit to put on pressure. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of an addled would-be activist, presses claims of sexual assault against Jake Dorner, the mission's program manager. Jake is innocent, but those who read the local newspaper can only believe the worst. The publicity creates financial panic for the mission, and family disaster for Jake.

 

The story of Those Who Hope concerns the severe stress that falls on Jake, a recovering addict. Will his marriage survive? Will the mission founder? Most fundamentally, will Jake stay clean? Those Who Hope follows the strange conflicts inherent when drug addiction meets the traditional religion of a rescue mission amid the liberal culture of California's wine country.

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"THOSE WHO DREAM"

We were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.

— Psalm 126-2

Kent Spires lost everything—his family, his job, his sense of self-and now he fears losing them a second time. He heads the drug and alcohol rehab center where he rediscovered his dignity, but he stands to be fired if he can't turn around the finances. He's isolated and lonely. He barely knows his adult children.

 

Then Kent meets Meg. She's a strong woman who picked herself up from a divorce, started a business, and created a happy life. She's not sure she's interested in Kent, but she's willing to give him a try. When Kent's ex, the mother of his children, is brutally assaulted, Kent and Meg and Kent's children grow entangled. They meet at the hospital, where Alice is in a coma and not certain to live.

 

As Kent goes searching for the homeless man he suspects of assault, Meg studies each isolated member of Kent's family, wondering whether she wants anything to do with them. Those Who Dream is a love story set against the disappointments of modern life and the challenges of drug addiction. It's a story of second chances, showing the strange juxtapositions of conservative faith meeting liberal culture in the Sonoma wine country. 

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"THOSE WHO SEEK"

May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. — Psalm 69.6

Elvis Sebastiano’s father was “lost at sea” when Elvis was only ten. Left to himself by a grieving mother, Elvis drifted into drugs and crime. By the time his mother emerged from her fog, he was in prison.

 

Now almost forty, Elvis attends his mother’s memorial service. A colorful, funny meth addict, he is two years sober, but feels the shadow of a relapse hanging over him. Elvis got clean after the firestorm that swept into Santa Rosa two years before; that night galvanized his desire to hang on to life. Now he hopes that connecting to his past will enable him to get back on the path.

 

After the service, Elvis is approached by a stranger who claims to be his father. This launches Elvis into an adventure, untangling an eccentric family history. His addiction throws him down time after time; with the help of his partner, Angel, of AA and church, he stands up again while the mystery of his family unwinds with increasing, bewildering complexity.