Be Killed Softly by God

The world is broken and upside-down. It’s time to die to self, so Christ can use you to turn the world right-side up.

Killing Us Softly

To be born again, first you have to die…

Killing Us Softly

The gospel is good news, but in a world like ours, it can seem like a kind of death. The road to life in Christ, after all, takes us through the Cross.

But if God is killing us, he’s killing us softly, gently remaking us in his image. That’s a stark difference from our cold, hard world- a world turned upside down by sin, a world no one gets out of alive. 

In Killing Us Softly Efrem Smith invites us into the countercultural Kingdom of God right here in our midst, which is actively, relentlessly setting us and the whole world right-side up.

Be challenged and empowered by this “punch packing fist of a book” as you learn what it means to become ambassadors for Christ.

We are God’s solution to communities in need.

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Killing Us Softly

Efrem Smith

Efrem is the president of World Impact, an urban-missions and church-planting organization. He is a teaching pastor as Bayside Midtown Church in Sacramento, California and the author of Jump, The Post-Black & Post-White Church, and (with Phil Jackson) The Hip-Hop Church.

“We are not to simply become citizens of the Kingdom of God and then wait for the day of our supernatural transport into eternity. We are to participate in the advancement of the Kingdom of God, right here and right now.

…this isn’t an easy journey (dying to self never is) but when empowered by God, our lives can provide a glimpse of what eternal right-side up community looks like.” 

Don’t defend the kingdom, die for it.


  • I can’t imagine a more fitting prophetic announcement of God’s kingdom come than this little punch packing fist of a book that’ll leave you inspired and rebuked in the same sentence. If you’d like to explore the radical nature of living out God’s plan on earth read this book and then do the really radical thing – live it out.

    Danielle Strickland

    Social Justice Secretary, The Salvation Army, USW

  • I was one of five thousand church leaders who heard Efrem Smith deliver the heart-moving and mind-stirring message of Killing Us Softly for the very first time. In that moment, it was clear that this challenge to counterintuitive discipleship needed to be shared with the rest of the world. Read this book and discover how to be reborn into the person God always meant you to be!

    Dave Ferguson

    Author of Starting Over & Finding Your Way Back to God

  • You can’t get too much Efrem Smith. He has the voice of a prophet and the heart of a pastor. This book is nothing short of an invitation to follow the revolutionary Jesus.  It’s a call to live in ways that don’t compute, to fight with weapons that do not kill, and to love in a way that confounds the world.

    Shane Clairborne

    Author and activist

  • Efrem Smith has got it right. This is an upside-down world—for Christians as well. We cling to differences that divide us instead of Christ who unites us; we’re known in the public sphere for what we’re against rather than what we’re for; and we’re more likely to pursue the American dream than join Jesus’ revolution of radical love. God can’t use us in this condition. Killing Us Softly is an eloquent reflection on what it means to die to self in order to live right-side-up as Christ’s ambassadors in a broken world.

    Richard Stearns

    President of World Vision and author of The Hole In Our Gospel

  • We need to stop peddling a convenient and palatable version of Christianity. To invite people to Christ without discipleship is an oxymoron. This is precisely why Killing Us Softly is so important and timely. This is a powerful, biblical, bold, prophetic, and yet pastoral reminder of the call of discipleship. 

    Rev. Eugene Cho

    Pastor, humanitarian, and author of Overrated


    In a Western Christian world that is often enamored with outward appearance, upward mobility, and the acquisition of power, Efrem Smith is here to proclaim that there is another way—one that leads to true freedom and a commitment to justice. I love this book because Efrem recognizes that in order to do good work in this broken world, we must first examine our hearts, experiences, and identities. To this end, Efrem offers a concise spirituality and set of practices that form us to transform this world. Efrem is one of the most innovative evangelicals leading at the intersection of justice and spirituality. I do not take his words lightly.

    Christina Cleveland

    Author of Disunity in Christ and Associate Professor of the Practice of Reconciliation, Duke Divinity School


    Killing Us Softly provides a compelling vision of transformation for our fallen world. The reminder that through Christ all things are being turned right-side up and conformed to his splendor is especially hopeful for those of us called to live and minister in vulnerable communities. Biblical. Challenging. Hopeful.

    Noel Castellanos

    President of Christian Community Development Association and author of Where the Cross Meets the Street