T. Suzanne Eller's third book that we're featuring this week is Making it Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway?
A recent statistic said that over 80% of Christian teens abandon their faith for a season. Author T. Suzanne Eller says, "As someone who has ministered to teens for a long time, I believe that teens leave a support system only to have to find out what they believe, as opposed to what they've heard in a sermon or celebrated as a family."
Making It Real starts that journey now, rather than later so that they are not one of the 80% who aren't sure what they believe anymore. Whether the reader is a first-time Christ-seeker or a seasoned believer, the book is for teens wanting to know God on a personal life-changing level. Making It Real helps teens grow their faith, no matter where they are spiritually--into a dynamic relationship with God.
For teens asking questions about their faith, like:
- How do I make my faith more personal?
- How do I turn to God in both good and bad times?
- Where is God leading me?
- Is my faith a relationship or tradition?
Family faith is awesome. Youth church is a place where teens can grow. But personal faith is a one-on-one journey. Making It Real is great for individuals as well as small cell or discipleship groups or Sunday school classes.
What Others Are Saying:
Making It Real will engage you and take you on a faith-building and life-changing journey,leading you daily to a powerful one-on-one encounter with God. This book connects this generation with a message that is relevant, inspiring and definitely needed.
- Living your faith by feelings - Teens get tripped up when God is only as big as their last experience--whether an awesome camp moment or a colossal mistake. Living by feelings is roller-coaster Christianity at it's best. You are close to God and you are up. You make a mistake and you bungee down. The problem with living faith by feeling is that you turn to what feels good at the moment, instead of God when you don't feel Him or feel worthy.
- Confusing tradition with faith - Traditions are amazing, but intimacy with God is making Him more than a habit. Going to church doesn't take the place of seeking God, or being honest with Him about your life, or carving out a part of your day to hang out with Him. It's not a to-do list. It's relationship.
- Making faith a group activity only - I've worked with teens for a long time. I can tell you every gross food game; I can proudly say I've conquered mud mountain; I've watched teens connect with God in a beautiful way as a group in worship or service. But sometimes teens wait for the music or hype or youth pastor to tell them when to worship God. Worship is more than a song. It's becoming a follower of Christ, even if no one else chooses that path. It's knowing where to turn if the people you trust, like your youth pastor or believing parents, walk away from their own faith.
- Living on borrowed convictions - A lot of teens (and adults) start thinking about education at a young age. It's a goal. But are we as educated about our beliefs? Too often Christians have enormous amounts of education, but only a 6th grade knowledge of their faith. I don't say that to be condemning, but to encourage believers to dig deeper. Do we know who God is? Do we understand the act of the Cross? Do we understand scripture and how it applied then, and how it applies today? When you live on borrowed convictions and you have to live them out in the real world, it's tough. That's why I wrote Making It Real. I love discipleship. I wanted a resource that a teen could take and it be relevant and real and deep, but not complex.
Thank you, Suzie, for another vital book. We've enjoyed having you here this week - and hope you'll come back another time!! You are a true blessing.
Pixels - drop by Suzie's Web site for a daily dose of inspiration, and don't forget about the contest:
1. During this blog tour, any reader who responds to Twila Belk at iamstraightway[at]aol[dot]com with the name of a church or organization that is interested in having Suzie in as a guest speaker, will receive all three of Suzie's books (up to 10 sets will be given away on a first come first serve basis).
2. If any of your readers contact Twila regarding a Bible study group or book club wanting to use Suzie's materials, their groups will receive conference calls from Suzie to kick off or conclude their studies.
3. All readers who post a comment regarding Suzie's books will be placed in a grand prize drawing on August 2, 2008, for a delightful gift basket (see description on Monday's post.)