Warning: If modern church culture makes perfect sense to you, and you always fit in seamlessly, don’t read this. As for the rest of us…
While American church culture (and American culture at large) seems largely designed for the extroverted, it’s estimated that half of the American population is introverted, and they’re often left wondering how, even if, they fit in the kingdom of God. As one of them, popular radio host Brant Hansen brings news. It’s wonderful, refreshing, and never-been-said-this-way-before good news.
In his unique style, Hansen looks to answer questions that millions of people carry with them each day:
If I don’t relate to God as emotionally as others do, is something wrong with me? How does one approach God, and approach faith, when devoid of the “good feelings” that seem to drive so much of evangelical church culture? How does God interact with those who seem spiritually numb? Is the absence of faith-based emotion a sign of that God has moved on or was never there? What if we aren’t good at talking to people about our faith, or good at talking to people at all? What if I’m told I’m too analytical, that I “think too much”? Where does a person who suffers from depression fit in the kingdom? Is depression a sure sign of a lack of faith?
This book is good news for people who are desperately looking for it. (And for their loved ones!)
It’s also for those who want to believe in Jesus, but inwardly fear that they don’t belong, worry that don’t have the requisite emotion-based relationship with God, and are starving for good news.
Blessed Are the Misfits is going to generate discussion, and lots of it. It’s simultaneously highly provocative and humbly personal. It’s also leavened with a distinct, dry, self-effacing humor that is a hallmark of Hansen’s on-air, writing, and public speaking style.
My Review: From the moment I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. Being an introvert in the world and in the church, I always feel like a misfit. This book blew me away from the start with just how relatable it was. Some of the experiences the author describes have been my exact experiences. I just kept thinking “yep, that’s me!”
Hansen talks honestly about feelings and emotions and one of my favorite take-a-ways is this: “Our feelings have nothing to do with whether God loves us or is still involved in our lives.” So often in the church, feelings are over-emphasized. I remember many times trying to manufacturer certain emotions because you were supposed to feel those particular emotions if you were “spiritual”. I worried about what was wrong with me and I convinced myself I wasn’t spiritual enough. It’s refreshing to hear someone say it’s okay to not always “feel it”.
Hansen doesn’t leave us in our misfit state with no hope. He does an excellent job reminding us that we are chosen. That Jesus chose the misfits, the introverted, the broken, the skeptic, the melancholy. He didn’t pick the ones anyone would have expected. He chose us. A bunch of misfits. And, the church is full of us.
There is so much to take away from this book that I can’t even begin to scratch the surface. It’s a book that everyone who has ever felt like a misfit in the church and in the world should absolutely, definitely read.
*I received a copy of this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.