Jason and Rachel manage to pack each chapter with questions that, no matter how ‘old’ you are in faith, challenge you to re-evaluate where you have been, where you are and where you are headed on your journey of faith.
Each chapter has places to pause, and take stock, to wrestle and think – all those tough questions that we ask of ourselves and others ask of us. But, never do you feel as though you are just being fobbed off with glib answers. The gritty honesty of both Rachel and Jason about the tough stuff is refreshing and encouraging.
Whether you are a young person struggling with moving from the youth programme into adult church, a youth pastor trying to be the bridge for your young people, or a parent trying to stick with God for the long haul – then this book is a must read. Jason and Rachel make it clear that their aim isn’t to necessarily challenge or stretch (although whenever we read a book like this it will naturally do this). The aim of the book is to call us deeper into faith, and further into maturity of faith.
When reading Rise, don’t rush past scripture, assuming that you know the stories or the passages: each time scripture is used, it is done in such a way, to really make you think – make sure you pause to ponder what is really being said here – where is God, and where am I in it.
Finally, don’t miss the last chapter, The Workout. This is really where the rubber hits the road – following the ‘Jesus Model’. But we’re not left to just put this all into practice, and go it alone. Rachel and Jason give you practical ideas to help you put all the stuff from the book into action, where to find help, and how to keep going, let it soak in, and take the advice. You can sense the integrity, that they know it works, because they’ve followed the advice themselves.
The very nature of this book is makes you realise that it’s not about being a hero overnight. Take time. Linger. Ponder. Let yourself be trained by the master. Wax on. Wax off.
Vicky Piggott-Genge is Youth and Children’s Pastor for the Beacon Church in Poole