I want to share about a new book, This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Year, written by a teenager specifically with teenagers in mind. It’s grounded in God’s Word, interesting, and well-written.
Jaquelle Crowe is an outstanding writer, not just “for a teenager,” but for anyone. Writing takes work, as does following Jesus, and in This Changes Everything, the author has done her work well. Reading this book was a pleasure; it’s biblical, challenging and refreshing. Jaquelle’s heart comes across clearly, her theology is strong, and what she says about church is desperately needed.
She writes in the first chapter:
This is the truth I’ve learned: if you live for Jesus, you can’t live an unchanged life. If the gospel is true, it will inescapably change every little part of us—what we do and think and say and mean, and who we hang out with and esteem and listen to and why, and how we live today and tomorrow and for all eternity. It will not be easy, safe, or always comfortable by any means. But it will be good. It will awake in you deep and unquenchable joy.
See this sample from the book to read more.
Jaquelle was recently interviewed on Harvest Show. Brett Harris shares this about the interview:
…it’s interesting to note, once again, how our culture (including church culture) is so quick to paint mature, responsible teenagers as “exceptions” to the rule. Normal teenagers are immature and irresponsible, says our culture. They could never write a book like Jaquelle has. And they should not be expected to study the Bible, to serve the local church, or honor their parents the way Jaquelle does.
Fortunately, the interview turns to this very issue.
“You write that culture has hijacked the teen years,” Radelich says. “What do you mean by that?”
Jaquelle’s answer gets to the root of the issue. Culture has sold young people short, telling them to find their worth in everything besides Christ. And as she explains earlier in the interview, the church has fallen prey to the same temptation, treating teenagers as second-class Christians and not expecting them to pursue Christ in a serious way.
The question left in my mind at the end of the interview is this:
“What would happen if more young people spent their youth living for Christ? What if they spent more energy on reading their Bibles, serving in their local church, and engaging with older, more mature Christians? What if parents and youth workers raised their expectations and were more intentional about engaging teenagers in true discipleship?”
I highly recommend This Changes Everything both for teenage Christians and their parents!