Small Things with Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor, By Margot Starbuck
Small Things with Great Love
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: November 23, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3817
  • ISBN: 9780830838172

*affiliate partner

Midwest Publishing Association Crystal Book Award honorable mention

Margot Starbuck is back with as much passion and energy as ever. In thirty brief chapters, she invites you to choose the adventure that fits who you are in authentically loving those around you.

Yes, she knows: just the thought of adding something more to your life sounds exhausting. But here's the fantastic truth she's discovered in her own journey: "We don't have to add lots more overwhelming activity to what we've already got going. The regular stuff of our lives—the commute to work and the potlucks and home improvement projects and errands and play dates—are the exact places in which we express and experience God's love for a world in need."

With a list of resources, a study guide and a six-week "Adventure Challenge," as well as plenty of stories and hilarity from Margot's own life, Small Things with Great Love will open your eyes to the people around you and the huge impact you can have on them through small acts of love.

"Small things happen when I learn the name of my daughter's school bus driver," Margot writes. "Small things happen when I listen to the dreams of a woman who lives in a group home on my block. Small things happen when I risk crossing a language barrier even though I look really stupid doing it."

And small things add up to big adventures and surprises, for you and others. The biggest surprise of all might be how powerfully God can use you, right in the midst of your walking-the-dog, paying-the-bills, doing-laundry life, when you're living out his love. Do the first small thing by opening these pages—and let the adventure begin!

"With unparalleled humor, honesty and grace Margot lays out the truth, that most of us care but are often too busy to know what to do. . . . She is absolutely spot on, the little things add up so very big. Packed with wisdom and insight from a brilliant writer, this book will not guilt you into action. Rather, you will come to find out that each day our lives add up to a million ways to make a difference. . . . As an activist and author who has tried desperately to forge this conversation I'm giddy to know that Margot has absolutely succeeded! I highly recommend this read to anyone who ever comes in contact with another human being. . . ."

Tracey Bianchi, pastor, activist and author of Green Mama

"Dorothy Day said, 'Don't call me a saint; I don't want to be dismissed so easily.' Small Things with Great Love is an invitation to look Jesus head-on and ask what it means for your life if he really meant all that stuff he said—not just for saints, but for you. It's an important question. And you can be grateful that someone as funny and gracious as Margot Starbuck is asking it."

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of The Wisdom of Stability and Common Prayer

"Margot Starbuck is fun, creative and sassy. She reminds us to dream big and live small. And her words will dare you to connect your gifts to the brokenness of this world and do something beautiful for God. This book reminds us that God is preparing each of us for something really, really . . . small—and it's small things done with great love that move the world."

Shane Claiborne, author, activist and recovering sinner

"Writing in a way that is both practical and engaging, Starbuck helps us to follow the great teachers of compassion and justice not by leaving our present lives but by opening our eyes to our lives and to those with whom we share them."

The Christian Century, October 17, 2012

"This book will open your eyes to the people around you and the huge impact you can have on them through small acts of love."

Significant Living, May 2012

"Small Things with Great Love will equip and inspire all who read it with the grace and knowledge that they can follow Jesus for real."

Sarah Scherschligt, The Presbyterian Outlook, April 2, 2012

"Delivered with wit and humour, this remarkable book compels readers to become world changers through small things with great love, instead of just wishing they were."

Lailani Mendoza, Living Light News, March/April 2012

"This book is perfect for a Bible study or just a group that would like to make the neighborhood they live in a little nicer. . . . The common sense of this book reminds us how important it is to reach out to others in our community and enrich not only their lives, but our own as well."

Connie Maier, CBA Retailers + Resources, January 2012


Foreword by Tony Campolo
Preface: Navigating This Adventure Book
Introduction: My Reluctance About Following Super-Jesus

1. The Plan: Biggest Loser Wins
2. Bible: Everyone Knows the Bible Is About Spiritual Things . . .
3. Awareness: How I'm So Easily Overwhelmed by NPR
4. Our Own: Final Flight Instructions
5. Stranger: Why Jesus Crossed the Road and Why We Do
6. Extroverts: Promise Not to Brag
7. Introverts: If There's One Thing I Hate, It's a Party
8. Men: The Drum Major Instinct
9. Women: Salvaging a Holy Train Wreck
10. Young: Chillin' with the Justice League
11. Middle: When You're Well-Networked
12. Old: Goodbye La-Z-Boy, Hello World
13. School: Rule One Is "Love the Ones You're With"
14. Work: Because It's About So Much More Than a Paycheck
15. Home: Hospitality That Has Nothing to Do with Martha Stewart
16. Urban: You Have Hit the Jackpot!
17. Rural: Families Knowing Families
18. Suburbs: What Mr. McFeely Doesn't Know About Joe Poverty
19. Single: Weird Kingdom Math
20. Marriage: Oscar, Felix and Jesus
21. Caregiving: When a World in Need Poops on Your Pot
22. Parenting: When a Little Child Leads, Get Out of the Way
23. Family Values: Some of My Favorite American Idols
24. Mindfulness: Yet One More Inconvenient Truth
25. Spend Less: The Veritable Hazards of Cutie Foods
26. Spend More: Not Nearly as Bananas as It First Seems
27. Give: Beyond Fat Wallets
28. Impact: Bus Justice, Bake Sales and Big Dreams
29. Influence: Roping Others into Kingdom Shenanigans
30. Transformation: Implementing Some Holy Tweaking

The Adventure Challenge


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Margot Starbuck

Margot Starbuck is a writer and speaker in Durham, North Carolina. The author of The Girl in the Orange Dress and Unsqueezed, she is passionate about communicating God's great love for all of us. Keep up with her adventures at