If Sunday didn’t exist, would anyone know you were a follower of Jesus? (Actually, would anyone know you are a follower of Jesus – for ANY reason?) Many of us who grew up going to church knew that Sunday mornings were for putting on your Sunday best – best clothes, best behavior, best smile, best appearance. For generations, Christianity has been defined by the Sunday morning experience. If this describes you, Jamie Snyder asks if your faith spins on the axis of Sunday morning (or Saturday night) in his book Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus.
Jamie Snyder, writer and pastor, says the problem for many church-goers is that the setting for their faith might be Sunday-centric in nature. He goes on to explain what it means to pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus because the meaning has gotten lost in translation, culturally.
Many of us will not be asked to die for Jesus, but we are all called to live for Jesus – daily. It might be easy to say we will go anywhere and do anything for Jesus, but just so long as we don’t have to risk being hurt, rejected, fired, or evicted. Our faith is tested in how we respond in our daily circumstances. We can’t dictate the circumstances, but we can choose how we affect the circumstances. Following Jesus isn’t about which direction he is going, but about getting wrapped up in the things he is wrapped up in.
We are to be good news to people. Everywhere we go, we should infuse hope and joy and peace and patience and kindness and self-control and love into the daily circumstances of the world. Get rid of the testy tone or your condescending voice and usher peace into the hearts of people instead.
Snyder goes on to explain what faith should be like – not contained or restrained, but unbridled, daring, risky, even rebellious and scandalous. He challenges us to stop inviting to people to church on Sunday, where they might end up building a faith that spins on the axis of Sunday, but instead, invite them to follow Jesus.
Snyder’s writing style is fluid and conversational as well as thought-provoking. Each chapter closes with a few questions for reflection and a prayer. If you were raised in a ‘religious’ environment or if you answer no to the question “Would people know I’m a Christian if they didn’t see me at church?” then I would highly recommend this book to inspire you toward deeper transformation and to follow Jesus 24/7.
For more information about the book, the author, and an excerpt, check out Bethany House Publishing, here.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.