You may know Mark Hall as the lead singer of successful Christian band Casting Crowns. One of the things that sets Casting Crowns’ music apart from most other Christian songs is the powerful messages they contain. In this new book Mark uses some of the songs from the latest Casting Crowns album The Altar and the Door as the basis for a series of reflections on making your faith personal.
This book mixes in some great, Biblical, inspirational teaching with personal stories, both from Mark (for example Your Own Jesus starts with the gripping story of Mark’s own brush with suicide – he went as far as to hold a gun in his hand, but stopped as he didn’t want to mess up the car of his friend in which he was sitting) and people he has met (such as a former drug addict Blue) that help emphasise the need to develop your own personal walk with Jesus.
The key theme to this book is that many people have grown up in church/Christian families, and their faith is based on other people’s faith, not their own experiences. Throughout this book Mark urges us to build up our own personal walk with God. Also central to Your own Jesus is the idea of taking our faith out of the Bible studies and into the real world, not blending in with the non-believers, but being the difference that sets the world free.
Your own Jesus works on two levels – it has a lot of great stuff if you are in that person who goes along to church, but doesn’t feel they have the personal walk with God that others seem to. And also it has a lot of stuff that is good if you work with young people who you want to help develop their own walk with Jesus. For many years Mark has been a youth leader, and that experience comes across in several places.
Mark has a great way with words, and is able to deal with important spiritual issues in a way that is very readable. His intermixing of testimonies and teaching keeps your attention, and it is all broken down into short segments to make for easier reading. It covers issues such as forgiveness, not listening to Satan’s lies, accountability, avoiding compromise, grace and God’s love in a fresh way, and links them in with songs from The Altar and the Door.
I found this a very helpful book, one that I’ll definitely by recommending to others, and a must read if you are looking to establish your own personal faith in Jesus rather than living off the faith of those around you.
Your Own Jesus is scheduled (according to Amazon) to be released in the UK at the start of September, and is out now in the USA.