Mark Hall, lead singer and songwriter for the music group Casting Crowns, presents a message of responsibility in his book, Your Own Jesus (Zondervan). Hall (pictured), a veteran youth worker and speaker, and co-author Tim Luke challenge readers to resist the tendency to survive on the faith of others and encourage them instead to develop a faith of their own.
“This book was generated as I asked myself—as I now ask you—some difficult questions,” Hall writes. “Is your walk with Jesus Christ characterized by personal faith, personal prayer, personal study, and personal disciplines? Or do you get by with the overflow from more mature Christians?”
Hall confronts spiritual issues such as apathy and immaturity with references to Scripture and his own observations. Lyrics from some of his group’s popular songs are included to introduce spiritual concepts.
Although he stresses the importance of spiritual disciplines, Hall insists that the book is “about more than reinforcing” them.
“I want us to avoid something that will short-circuit our time with God,” he writes. “I want us to learn to recognize and overcome the seemingly incessant opportunities for compromise, great and small, that neutralize so many believers.”
Hall also emphasizes how important it is for Christians to reflect the Creator.
“Since God made us in his image to glorify him, our job is to be a reflection of that spotlight,” he writes. “What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance, blending in so well that people can’t see the difference. The difference is what sets the world free.”
Chapter titles include “Explaining the Wind,” Newness,” “The Roman Son” and “A Different Kind of Song.” In the chapter titled “Stuck,” Hall relates a personal story of accountability while stressing his own need for Jesus.
“It is crucial to have a pastor pour into me, and a worship leader teach me to worship, and a small-group leader help me learn to open up—but I still need my own walk with Jesus,” he writes. “Unless I rent a room in my church and never step foot into the world, those folks aren’t going home with me.”
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