Me and Jen Hatmaker are already best friends, ever since I read her book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess earlier this year. Jen is a seriously funny, seriously real lady. Most people I know read Interrupted before they read 7, but in usual Krista fashion, I did it the other way around. (Also, 7 was loaned to me by a friend and I waited to read Interrupted until it was super cheap on Amazon and I bought it for a few bucks for my Kindle app.)
Jen Hatmaker and husband Brandon, a pastor at a Texas church, feel God calling them to some new journey, a journey that involves rethinking church. After giving away their beloved cowboy boots after a message inspired them to real out to those who don’t have anything, or who have very little, the Hatmakers take a leap of faith to see where God takes them. This book takes place in the years preceeding 7 and is how they got to that place.
I think this book nails the gospel message on the head. It’s funny, as per Jen’s usual MO, but it’s although amazingly thought-provoking. Jen shares some staggering statistics about poverty, orphans, and disease that exists not only in the world but in the US. Some specifics stats that make me feel sick:
- If you make $50,00 annually, you make more than 99% of the population of the world. My name is Krista, and I am the 1%.
- More than 143 million children in the world have been orphaned or abandoned — that’s like half of the US.
- About 40 million people die annually from starvation — and 65% of US adults and 15% of US children/adolescents are overweight.
I know what you’re thinking: statistics can be screwy. You can manipulate them. But Jen has done her research and is conservative when it comes to the number crunching. Using these numbers, she explains how she and Brandon started Austin New Church, a church that reaches out to the very people Jesus touched — the lost and the hurting. Their church doesn’t do glitzy lights and Easter pageants. It doesn’t do billion dollar buildings. It does small groups and relationships and love.
This isn’t so much a book review, I know. But it’s a good book. Jen’s writing is clear and she breaks down her story well. It’s not cheesy, ulta-goobery Christianese (I have read a lot of those books, trust me). If everyone would live Christianity this way, people might hate Christians a lot less.
Overall Rating: 10/10