November 11, 2018

Book Review: “Heroes Wanted” by Rodney Bullard

Heroes Wanted: Why the World Needs You to Live Your Heart Out, by Rodney D. Bullard. Harvest House Publishers, 2018. 205 pages.

“[God] has designed you to rise above the typical and reach for the remarkable. The heart to do this is already inside you.”
-Rodney Bullard

Rodney Bullard, author of Heroes Wanted: Why the World Needs You to Live Your Heart Out, is inspiring. The Chick-fil-A Vice President of Community Affairs steps outside of the typical corporate mindset in his new book to ask soul-searching questions that help us see the beauty in life and service. Bullard’s work offers an incredible perspective on how to reflect Christ in everyday life and how we too can be a hero.

In Heroes Wanted, Bullard writes about how people do not have to be “Big H” heroes with capes and superpowers or money and fame. Many heroes simply live out their calling in service to others, showing love and grace to those around them. Bullard challenges readers to rethink who they are and the impact they can have on the world.

Bullard identifies nine qualities of a hero: calling, commitment, compassion, connection, conviction, community, courage, charity, and confidence. For each of these characteristics, he reveals how anyone can change the world through the way that they live. He begins by asking, “will we answer the call to save and help?” As the book progresses, he reveals how and for whom Christians ought to live.

Bullard writes that we are all made to serve and care deeply for others. Thus, our calling is to “give our all for someone else.” We are called to be personal, to be faithful in our relationships with others, and to humble ourselves. The reason for all of this is so that we can serve and others can thrive. This idea goes against our culture’s vision of climbing the ladder to achieve individual, worldly success at the expense of others.

This book reminds readers that God has an unending capacity for love and grace. No one deserves it, but God offers it as a gift. Christ is the best example of someone who is committed and compassionate because He lived for us, died for us, and saved us! Bullard reminds his readers, “love is not just action. Love is sacrificial action. Love always pays the price. Love always costs something. Love is expensive. When you love, benefits accrue to another’s account. Love is for you, not for me.” Bullard insists that real, Christ-like love is not what the world says love is.  Love is not just a good feeling or emotion. Real, sacrificial, joyful love is heroic.

Bullard tells encouraging stories of ordinary people who rose to meet a need in their community. These stories demonstrate that real heroes know happiness and fulfillment does not come from money, success, or power, but from “committing to serving and helping others.” For example, in grade school, Bullard had a teacher who tutored him over the summer when other teachers had labeled him as a failing student. This teacher cared for him, helped him, and put him on a trajectory of hope rather than failure. She was a hero. He also writes about a pastor named Bruce Deele whose job was to help close a church near Atlanta due to its decline, but the Lord worked through Pastor Bruce to call him to build up the church and serve those in this tough area of Atlanta. The pastor chose to answer God’s call to help and committed the rest of his life to serve people, restore the community, and love the church.

The unique individuals discussed in Heroes Wanted exemplify all of the nine characteristics of being a hero. They seek unity and restoration amidst the brokenness of the world. They dare to do something about what they see because their identity and success is rooted in the love of Christ. Bullard points out how these heroic actions do not require a Ph.D. or glamorous, high-paying job. Bullard himself has changed jobs multiple times, but he knows his calling is to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).

As Bullard shares parts of his own story, the good and the bad, he encourages us to own our stories as well–even the broken and shameful parts. He reminds us that our struggles can become strengths when we accept our past, give it to God, and learn from it. Bullard continually reminds his readers of the importance of Christ in our own lives. Christ redeems us and makes us new. We have the ability, power, strength, and courage to live out love for others because Christ has loved and changed us.

This book brings about meaningful conversations on what it looks like to serve, walk in humility, and love others. It even features a reflection and action guide and a small group leaders guide at the end of the book so that you can discuss the book with others and write out your thoughts about each chapter.

Being a hero requires caring for and loving those who are near. Heroes are compelled by selfless love. Bullard drives this point home, and I am excited about the way this book can inspire people who have a desire to live a purposeful life. After reading his book, I am convinced that real heroes exist everywhere and that the world does need each of us to live our hearts out.

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