Worth Seeing: Viewing Others Through God's Eyes, By Amy L. Williams
Worth Seeing
  • Length: 232 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: June 25, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0712
  • ISBN: 9781514007129

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"We are in the business of seeing others, seeing them the way God sees them, and letting them know they have value."

Amy L. Williams has spent three decades doing ministry with youth in gangs and prisons. While most of society sees high-risk youth through lenses of fear or disregard, she has come to see them through God's eyes as having tremendous value and potential. Worth Seeing provides an up-close look at her work—successes, losses, lessons, and embarrassing mistakes. Through personal narrative, Amy reveals the lives of youth who are often pushed to the margins of society. Her storytelling both challenges perceptions and increases compassion and understanding, not just with youth, but all people. Practical tips equip you to take action to see others the way God sees them.

"Amy has written an inspirational, practical, and must-read book for anyone working with youth or those on the margins. Her faith, transparency, stories, and experiences provide valuable information and insight for connecting with and loving others as Christ loves them."

Karen Swanson, director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Correctional Ministries Institute

"Amy knows high-risk young people, and high-risk young people know Amy. And what they know of each other is seen through the lens of love. That's what makes all the difference, and it's what makes this book so special. Who we become is most deeply influenced by how others see us. And on page after page, Amy illustrates this transformational power of seeing through the eyes of love."

Scott Larson, founder and president of Straight Ahead Ministries

"Worth Seeing is well worth reading. Everyone in any kind of ministry should read this book (and that should be all Christians). I have ministered to people on the extreme margins of society for over forty years and gleaned a lot from this book. Amy provides a fresh model for outreach ministry for today's harvest field. She reminds us that the harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few, and one plants, one waters, but it is God who gives the increase. I love this book and I think you will too."

Joseph Williams, president of the Nehemiah Consortium

"This is a great book for those in the field of mentoring and working with youth. It's a look into the real world of the streets from the eyes of a hood hero. I love how Amy uses Scriptures throughout the book. It makes it easier to understand her work with the youth, especially for those who come from a religious background."

Jose, Chicago gang leader

"My sista Amy Williams has created a work of art, a masterpiece, that has taken over thirty years to say! This work of art comes with a life surrendered for those labeled untouchable. We are reading all of Amy's heart, experiencing her blood, sweat, and tears from a life sacrificed for those who felt they had no voice. What you must be ready for is the contagious, tenacious hope that is blanketed in every page. The challenge is 'What ya gonna do about it?' and we must join Amy and create a hope-dealer nation that will nourish the hearts of our youth who are drowning in deserts of hopelessness."

Phil Jackson, founder and CEO of the Firehouse Community Arts Center of Chicago and lead pastor of The House

"My sista Amy Williams, a.k.a. the Hope Dealer, has written one of the most honest, vulnerable, and transformative books I have ever read. You will find yourself experiencing every emotion as you travel with her on a roller coaster ride of heartbreak, healing, and hope. Worth Seeing is a powerful reminder that seeing the world the way God does means embracing both the beauty and brokenness in every person and every place."

Jonathan "Pastah J" Brooks, lead pastor of Lawndale Christian Community Church and author of Church Forsaken

"Amy Williams has gifted us with a book that is full of wisdom, knowledge, and insight rooted in theology, as well as stories full of practicality that can only be given through her genuinely faithful and loving time with high-risk youth. As a chaplain working with incarcerated youth, I'm grateful this book has come at a pivotal time to give me fresh insight, challenges, and reminders of how to minister in God's way—truly seeing one another as God sees us. This book will remain close by for reference as I do ministry. Thank you for being an example for us all!"

Eric G. Peng, Good News Global chaplain at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago

"Forty-seven years of ministry with and on behalf of court-adjudicated youth and young adults have taught me that the Christian values we seek to impart to them are not sustained without relationships. And biblically based relationships cannot be formed without recognizing the humanity in each other. Amy Williams pens this truth with power and passion. She grounds gripping narrative (hers and others') in a theology of human value to show how many whom society would throw away are yet 'fearfully and wonderfully made.' Ministries like hers helps them to 'know that full well' (Psalm 139:14)! I will be using this book in our criminal justice and reconciliation studies curriculum here in Washington, DC."

Harold Dean Trulear, associate professor of applied theology at Howard University School of Divinity

"I met Amy Williams in a tough neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. She was fearless. Her loud laugh and hope-drenched words sparked something deep inside. The best word I can find is hope. Hope for the present and hope for the future. Amy and I have worked together as radio broadcasters and youth leaders. I've seen young men stand tall when she's nearby. They say, 'Amy cares and sees worth in me.' She's a force. I’ve learned a lot from her. I think you will too."

Roy Patterson, host at Moody Radio

"Amy Williams is an authentic practitioner whose way of life over the last several decades has created a picture of Christ that is compelling and sacred. Amy's devotion to living and loving in the margins is the way of Jesus. This book takes you on a journey of being a Christ-follower. Don't just read Amy's stories. You can embody them. If you want to be inspired and learn what it looks like to be a follower of Christ, then read this book."

Tommy Nixon, CEO of the Urban Youth Workers Institute

"Youth ministry leader Williams draws in this openhearted debut guide from her years spent working with at-risk youth in Chicago to offer guidance on how readers can be more compassionate. . . . For Christians who sometimes find it challenging to love their neighbors, this is a solid starting point."

Publishers Weekly, April 2024

Read an Excerpt


1. The God Who Sees

Part Uno—Seeing Myself
2. Best of Both Worlds
3. Becoming a Hope Dealer to the Dope Dealer
4. To Be Seen or Not to Be Seen
5. A Different Kinda Christian

Part Dos—Seeing Others
6. Lethal Absence of Hope
7. The Business of Seeing Others
8. The Privilege of Presence
9. People Are Not Projects
10. It's Not About Fixing People
11. Outreach Is a Lifestyle, Not an Event
12. Mentoring That Matters
13. What I've Learned About Gang Members and Gang Culture
14. Land of the Free? Incarceration Nation

Part Tres—Seeing Yourself
15. The Great I Am . . . Not
16. Embracing Your Calling
17. The Gift of Brokenness

Part Cuatro—Seeing Hope
18. Building Together Through Teachable Moments
19. Death Almost Killed Me
20. Hope Is My Homie



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Amy Williams

Youth ministry veteran Amy Williams ministers to teens involved in gangs and those lost in the criminal justice system with a key strategy of life-on-life mentoring. As a certified gang intervention specialist, she heard God's call to move into a Latino gang neighborhood in Chicago's Humboldt Park community to be a "Hope Dealer" doing street outreach and walking life with young people on her block. Amy is project coordinator at New Life Centers, bringing in restorative justice programming to youth at juvenile prisons. Amy has been a youth pastor, a reentry coordinator, and a youth mentor and advocate. She is a graduate of both University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and National Louis University. She resides in Chicago and loves salsa dancing and is a true beach baby.