Thrive: Digging Deeper, Reaching Out (Zondervan, 2014) is the latest book by Youth Pastor and Casting Crowns singer Mark Hall. I liked this book – it was an easy read, suitable for daily devotions, great for conversation starters for a youth group, a valuable resource for a youth pastor and especially for a youth leader who doesn't have the benefit of Bible school or theological studies. Mark brings a lot to the table from his knowledge of scripture, his life experience, his years as a youth pastor, and a few references to the band.
Jesus came to bring life and to bring it abundantly, with all that implies, yet so many people seem to think that life is something to be survived on a daily basis. Mark says that instead of just getting by, we should live life to the fullest; we should thrive in our existence as a member of the family of God.
But it takes a little bit of effort. There’s more than saying a simple prayer and having everything be golden. We’re called to dig deeper into the word, to reach out to others (believers for fellowship and encouragement, and non-believers to share the Gospel.
I didn't glean any new deep theological insights, but that’s OK. This is not meant to be a scholarly treatise or a textbook for postgraduate studies. There is a lot of common sense stuff, things that we might have learned before, have probably forgotten, and need to hear again and again. (By the way, the chapter titled “Mighty Men”, on page 91, is one of those ‘gotcha’ moments, that reminds us of how we’re supposed to be reaching out!)
My teenage son gets to read the book next, and then it probably goes to his Youth Leader. On a scale of 1 to 5, this is ‘almost a five’.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.