The Bible study lesson lingered in my mind. The study on Ephesians 4 left me to consider how “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). As a pastor over the youth ministry at the church, my concern was not how to equip Christians generally but how to encourage the application of this Scripture passage into the lives of our church’s teenagers. Mindful of my teenage years, my passion as pastor was and is to equip teenagers to serve the Lord. Moreover, I want them to see the implications of the gospel in every facet of their lives. For this reason, I am grateful for This Changes Everything: How The Gospel Transforms the Teen Years.
A Quick Look at a Gospel-Focused Lens
Written by a teenager for teenagers, author Jaquelle Crowe shares and shows what it looks like for teenagers to live as whole-hearted Jesus-followers. Each chapter of This Changes Everything observes an area of the teenager’s life through the lens of the gospel. The book begins by helping teenagers understand who they are in relation to God and His story (chapters 1–2). With a firm foundation laid, Jaquelle shows how the gospel impacts a teenager’s view of the church, the need for its community, and their view of sin, including the seemingly ordinary sins (chapters 3–4). She also shares the proper motive for and necessary practice of spiritual disciplines in the Christian life (chapter 5) and the role discernment plays in a teenager’s growth (chapter 6). The book closes with stewardship of time (chapter 7) and biblical principles for relationships (chapter 8).
A Gospel Feast for Teenagers
This Changes Everything is a gospel feast for Jesus-following teenagers. Using the author’s analogy of a chicken nugget (Crowe 13), this book is crisp with personal illustrations and historical examples, leading the reader to the meat of gospel-centered content found in every chapter. Miss Crowe lives what she writes. She engages teenagers with her transparency, humbly admitting where she falls short and boldly pointing her peers to Jesus Christ. The diagrams throughout the book provide visuals for teens to apply that particular implication of the gospel into their lives and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter engage teenagers to put their learning into practice. One of the most fruitful aspects of Jaquelle’s writing is her emphasis on intergenerational relationships. Sometimes adults can mark off teenagers in the church and teenagers can neglect interaction with adults in the church. This Changes Everything weds the two groups together, especially in discussing the church in chapter 3 and relationships in chapter 8. Her knowledge of church history is not only impressive but it encourages teenagers to broaden their learning to those who have gone before them in the Christian faith. Simply put, Jaquelle Crowe offers teenagers a theologically rich, immensely practical, and winsomely engaging book to apply the gospel in every area of life.
A Book for Teens and to Read with Teens
If you are a teenager who claims to be a Jesus-follower, then you need this book. If you know a teenager, then tell them about this book. If you desire for teenagers to know Jesus, then buy them this book. For parents and youth leaders, consider purchasing a copy for yourself as well and reading through the book together. This Changes Everything by Jaquelle Crowe is a must-read for teenagers and those who care for teenagers.
In March, Jaquelle was kind enough to participate in an interview for us. You can find our interview with her here.
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