I was recently given the opportunity to read and review Jen Hatmaker’s revised + updated book, Interrupted, When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. The book is not yet available and only 250 bloggers were given this chance. Thanks to being quick on Twitter, I was selected as one of them! Jen is the author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and A Modern Girl’s Bible Study series. With a heart for her generation, she speaks at conferences around the country. Jen resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Brandon, and their five children. To learn more about Jen and follow her blog, go to www.jenhatmaker.com.
If I had to choose one word to sum up this book, it would be: Do.
Christianity is more than just attending Sunday School and Sunday service(s). We are called to be like Jesus. I’ve heard + said that so many times in my life, but this book totally changed the way I think about it. It’s more than just “good deeds” – because, as Jen says, acting and behaving a certain way to try and earn our way into heaven would mean that His day on the cross would be pointless.
First of all, Jesus wasn’t normal – the things He did, the ways He served.
Jesus redefined greatness.
Jesus colored outside the lines.
But you and I… we’re (probably) normal.
People will be moved more by what we do, rather than what we say. But, are people moved by me? Probably not that often, if we’re being honest here. Which means I am not doing a very good job at representing Christ. Because at the end of it all, it will come down to what I did here on Earth. What you did.
What really struck a cord with me was Jen’s talk of evangelism in the community. People are the church. Evangelism doesn’t have to happen IN the church – volunteer locally, help a secular non-profit, have your neighbors over for dinner. This is how we make the Good News actually seem good again. We need to invite the un-churched into our lives, not just to our church services.
Just yesterday, a friend of mine tweeted, “It’s sad that religion is more often used to cause division, to fuel hate, & validate war than it is to bring people together by love.” It is sad. Because love wins more often than theology.
As Jen points out, we can’t possibly know all there is to know about anyone without digging deep. We can’t expect our neighbor to come to church with us when we don’t even know their last name.
So, what’s next? Where does this lead me?
I’m not entirely sure yet. I am still digesting it all and thinking about what else could be done. Towards the end of the book, Jen talks about small groups at church – they meet for “traditional” Bible study two weeks out of the month, and then serve/volunteer the other two weeks. Aaron and I are thinking of becoming small group leaders next year, and I think it would be great for us to take the idea of volunteering regularly.
Abraham, Moses and Isaiah didn’t have a clear picture of the end of what God asked them to do, so I don’t need a clear picture yet either.