This Changes Everythingby Jaquelle Crowe
Length: Approximately 6 hours. To read (160 pages)
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This Changes Everything is a monumental book in Christian literature. The book aims to guide teens toward a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Jesus. Jaquelle strengthens the mind, grows the heart, and entertains the soul with a seriousness about the Gospel. The book teaches who God is and instructs how to follow Him better.
Who should read this?
The book is aimed for teens. I would highly recommend every teen to read this book; then read it again. I would encourage parents and youth pastors to put this book in every teen’s hands. This book can be given to an unbelieving teen, new Christian teen, or a mature teen in the faith. While this book is aimed toward teens, and most of the application and illustrations apply to teens, everyone would benefit from reading this book.
This Changes Everything is a book that is all about making God big and stirring a seriousness in teens about God. The introduction to the book Jaquelle states, “If we love Jesus, we’ll love truth, and we’ll want to grow…These aren’t our rebellious years; these are the years we rise up to obey the call of Christ…This isn’t a season for self-satisfaction; it’s a season for God-glorification” (pg. 14). Each chapter of the book is to the aim of serious disciples of Jesus. The book evenly balances the interpersonal with the duty to the Church and the Lost. She causes you to both desire holiness, community, and mission.
Most books geared toward teens seem to be shallow in there call to holiness and pursuit of Jesus. We live in a culture that does not think youth can handle deep teaching of God’s Word. In this book you cannot give that excuse because the author was 18 at the time of writing this book. This comes from a perspective of someone who is a teen and who has also applied these truths to real life. Throughout the book Jaquelle shares of the hard things she has had to deal with in her walk. She also shares what others have done to help her grow in the faith.
Many of the chapter include diagrams and illustrations demonstrating the truths she is speaking of. Along with the illustrations, lists are given to encourage youth toward good music and good books. Teens will be pointed toward good theology and good resources that will cause them to be excited to begin this journey. They will read this book and realize this is just the beginning and the journey will be joyful.
The book begins with the identity of Christianity. Understanding our identity in Jesus and understanding how salvation happens is the foundation and anchor of the book. In these opening chapters the clarity and simplicity of the Gospel is put on display. Within the first chapter an illustration of the characteristics of a Christian are listed and then described.
The highlight to the book might be the emphasis on the Church and the local church. Many teen books focus on morality, and they have good intentions of personal holiness at times. Jaquelle Crowe points teens to a deep love for the local church and to serve the local church. In the chapter entitled “Our Community”, she not only points to the necessity of the local church but also gives examples of how to serve in the local church. She calls teens to not just attend but to also be involved. The message of teens being part of the church now, and not just the future of the church, is said with a megaphone. A beautiful connection of the first two chapters on identity and Gospel story leading to a natural line of life in the local church.
Reaching the middle of the book is the introduction of sin. Sin has already been spoken to and seen as the problem in this whole situation. However, this chapter is so graceful and encouraging for the teen. Teens will be equipped to attack sin and to fight against temptation. They will also read about the process of freedom from sin and a right standing before God. While the whole book is written in a simple and profound way, this chapter will teach the beauty of theology. Jesus is magnified in this chapter and the sinner finds rest in their Savior.
The rest of the book deals with practical outwork of salvation in the teen. They will spend time reading about creating spiritual disciplines. She will encourage time in the Word and the necessity of time in prayer. She continues speaking to the importance of growth and continuing to stay steadfast in that growth. The whole idea of the book is to show teens why they are to be growing in their faith, now. They are not to wait until they are older but there is great encouragement that growth begins now. I also wish someone would have encouraged me to spend my time wisely.
She not only encourages teens to do; she encourages them to rest, rightly. The book ends looking at our relationships. Teens will be encouraged to use their relationships for the glory of God. They will also be encouraged to make deep, meaningful relationships with others who are part of the family of God. Each chapter ends with questions in how to apply all of these truths to life. Further, she challneges them to do it now.
Jaquelle calls for a generation of teens to be serious about their faith and to take serious their walk with Jesus. God is glorified and the teens are encouraged. The book is written with illustrations aimed toward teens, application that resonate with teens, and writing style that is fun for teens also. The book will intrigue them, challenge them, encourage them, and motivate them to be ambassadors for Christ now.
This book could be confused with a well-seasoned and older saint in the faith. I personally walked through this book with a few teens in my youth group. The book sparked so much discussion and helped them to understand the application and implications of the faith to another level. I then gave this book to every youth that went to camp and to those who graduated. The results are still coming to fruition with unbelievers asking questions about the Gospel.
Further, I have had those who have professed faith begin to live some of these truths out in their lives. The book is saturated with Scripture and will cause the teens to see Scripture as the guiding point of it all. If you were to take out all Scripture references and all places Jaquelle was expounding upon Scripture, there would not be much of a book and it would not make sense. This is what we need in teen Christian literature, as well as Christian literature itself.
This book also points teens toward solid bible teachers. When I first began to be serous about my faith in high school I did not know where to go in terms of literature and good teaching. There is a dangerous world of false teachers that seem appealing. This book will give them a list of teachers and resources that will point them toward solid bible teaching and sound doctrine. The illustrations to help understand the truths are so helpful. The illustrations are aimed toward the teens for simplicity, but the truths within the illustrations are aimed at the heart of the teens.
I only found one flaw in this book and this concept. The book should not just be written for teens but all Christians. The book was written in such a way that I felt the need to read it again, myself. An adult version should have been written in partnership with the release of this book. I would be straining and reaching to find much of a flaw.
The book is written perfect for teens, the message is clear, and the structure builds. I think this book should be required reading and on every priority list. I would even encourage parents to read the book alongside and with their teens.
This Changes Everything will be around for a long time. This book can be used in application and illustration for many years to come. The only thing that could make it better is if she does an expanded and updated version. The book is such an encouragement to the soul. The teen will finish this book and have a solid foundation in their understanding of God and what they can do for His Kingdom. There is not a book for teens that matches this book.
- “After we’re saved and have become part of the universal church (that is, all Christians everywhere), it is our responsibility to join a local church.” (pg. 4)
- “When the gospel saved us, it made us alive in Christ, breathing life into our dead hearts. We became wide awake and hungry spiritual newborns, thirsty sprouts our eyes freshly opened to the world. And immediately, we started growing.” (pg. 98)
- “Every relationship should be about us loving like Jesus, serving like Jesus, encouraging like Jesus, and, like Jesus, glorifying God above all else.” (pg. 145)
- “We practice the spiritual disciplines because we are motivated by abundant affection for Christ and a thriving desire to grow in him. We do them because of the gospel.” (pg. 82)
- “The gospel does not start and end with us. From first to last, it’s about him and his plan to save people from every tribe and nation and tongue.” (pg. 93)