It’s been a little over year since I moved to Seattle. A little over a year since my wife and I transitioned out from our role as youth pastors at City Bible Church. This last year has been an incredible adventure of not knowing what to expect and yet trusting that all things were going to work out. And what transpired has truly been the result of grace.
As my time as a youth pastor was nearing it’s end about a year ago, I had a chance to reflect on my time with students and parents. I had time to think back to the conversations and moments, and there were these feelings of restlessness and apprehension.
I wasn’t sure if the young people I had the privilege of leading and connecting with, truly had a real relationship with Jesus. Further still, I wasn’t sure how deep-rooted their relationship with Jesus was.
I kept wondering if my students’ attraction to the expression of community they were a part of, superseded their wonder and love for Jesus. It wasn’t an easy question to wrestle with, and that’s the real story behind this book.
So many people start their journey of following Jesus in curiosity and wonder and community. There’s an excitement and passion for the newness of that journey, and it can sustain you forward.
Give it some time though, and the emotions begin to wear off. The excitement that was there can give way to apathy, and you aren’t sure how to keep the hype train going.
These feelings eventually lead you to one of two choices. Some just simply give up and walk away, never to return. Others turn those vibrant initial moments of finding faith, into a rule-following grind, that either makes them self-righteous or self-critical.
Truth is, most of us are unsure of how to carry out an ever-growing, child-like faith. We struggle to transform the wonder and curiosity of those initial moments, into a life-long transformation of ourselves and the communities we find ourselves in.
But that doesn’t have to be the story, and it’s why I wrote the book. Faith doesn't have to be difficult or intimidating, but can be the most fulfilling step forward, into the best life possible.
"I believe Unfamiliar will be a pastoral voice for everyone who reads it. Whether you’re new to faith or have known Jesus for a long time, this book will encourage you to keep going. While at the same time, challenging you to continue picking up your cross and following Jesus."
Ian Bailey, Teaching Pastor @ Church At The Well, Burlington VT
How To Read This Book
This book is a great introduction to faith, and can be read through during your personal time with God. There are questions at the end of each chapter for you to reflect and answer.
Small Group Reading & Study
This book is fantastic for a small group centered around growing your faith. The questions are designed for discussion and reflection, and can spur on great conversation starters for added discovery.
This book could provide a framework for a new believers class at your church, where a teacher uses the book as the backdrop for class discussion, reflection, and conversation.
1. You Haven't Done This Before
2. Step Into Freedom
3. Let Go Of The Past
4. A Changing Reality
5. Know Who You Are
6. A People Called Family
7. New Directions In Faith
8. Embrace God's Best