We at STG believe we should strive to preach the gospel to ourselves daily in an effort to quiet the enemies in our minds, so we can listen to Jesus in our hearts. Our goal is purely share how we replace negative self talk with Biblical truths. After stumbling across Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity, we love that it is a narrative of a family who asked the hard questions of church once they admitted to the tensions they felt in their lives. We love interrupted because it is not a story of forsaking truth for grace and mercy, but of asking of ourselves what we should be doing when clear directives of scripture and humble submission to Christ and His teachings takes root in our lives. The viral sensation that is 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess was only a seed of an idea taking root in Interrupted. It all started with questions about how church operates in a postmodern culture as much as asking while in the common Christian bubble, “Is this all there is?”
“Until we are all compelled and contributing, we’re settling for an anemic faith and a church that robs Christ followers of their vitality and repels the rest of the world.”
– Jen Hatmaker
Interrupted leaves you walking with a Jacobean limp like the Hatmakers after wrestling with God and statistical realities of our culture today. Interrupted asks the hard questions about how we do church today as it chronicles how the Hatmakers’ “hippie granola” church began in an effort to reconcile answers to these questions. These questions about church and church planting in a postmodern culture are not asks rooted in feelings, but rooted in startling statistics that you cannot ignore. You
cannot should not feel okay with your life after reading what broke their family.
If you are not chomping at the bit to be interrupted yet, let us tell you that those stats and scriptural references are great, but it is the serendipity of God that makes you weep. Story after story and “fateful” moment along the Hatmaker’s journey makes the soul cry, “THIS! This is what we want and CRAVE for the Bride!” We will warn you though as many have, when it comes to Interrupted, plan on being so. Try your best not to read it all in one sitting because if you really let her words penetrate your heart, it will hurt, and the people around you will wonder why you have suddenly gone off the deep end.
“We cannot deny love because it might be despised or misunderstood. We can’t withhold social relief because we’re not convinced it will be perfectly managed. We can’t project our advantaged perspective onto struggling people and expect results available only to the privileged.”
– Jen Hatmaker
Jen articulates what many of us are feeling in the modern Christian church circuit a little too well, but this is where she will rescue the apathetic and take us by the hand through the scripture that heals and inspires our faith anew. Also plan on the same serendipity and fateful moments of divine ordinance that happened to them to happen while you are reading Interrupted. Essentially, plan on your life being interrupted. You’ve been warned.
If you’re a tired church leader and/or disenfranchised gospel lover and you feel alone in your tensions and questionings, this book shows us the reality that we are so worried about church that we are ignoring what is really going on with the people Jesus wants us to serve and love. Interrupted humbly gives us a call to let go of the top and follow the trail blazed all the way to the bottom. We have to find those pioneers like us desperate to do something about the lost, least, and marginalized in this world.
“There will never be enough knowledge to fill the cracks of Christian maturity without the fruit of selfless service manifested in our lives.”
– Jen Hatmaker
So here is a little challenge STG would like to make (don’t worry, no ice buckets involved here). When Jen wrote Interrupted, she thought she was the only believer feeling “all the feelings” as she would put it, yet she rescued many of us from our discontent and apathy with the church. Jen has blessed us with a copy of Interrupted to give away to YOU and in the spirit of “you are not alone in your tension,” we will select a commenter who has not read the book and send you a copy, but there is a catch. After you read, dog ear, highlight, note, and crease this copy real good, you will inevitably think of someone who needs to read this. We will also include 10 postage paid envelopes, so you can send it to a friend. Your friend will think of a friend, read and devour Interrupted, and then send it to a friend they think of. Perhaps some of you will love the notes and musings of the previous reader so much that you decide to not feel alone in your tension and connect with them. What fun God might have with that little setup. The 10th and final reader will send it back to STG and we’d like to send Jen Hatmaker our “autographed by you” copy! We’d love to start a thread right here to build camaraderie and hope for an interrupted future! So to start, simply comment if your interest is piqued by Interrupted or if you have been “interrupted” already.
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Image Credit: sixthland, Creative Commons