|Cover design Ryan Holligsworth|
By Lauren Yarger
Another "hip" pastor (this one even younger looking than most) from a trendy mega church trying to become even more famous by penning his first book. At least that is what I thought when I picked up "Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible" (Multnomah Books, 2010) by Steven Furtick, founder and lead pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.
I'd heard of Furtick. He has an interesting blog and has been making the rounds at a lot of Christian conferences, so I put aside my growing ennui with books lining the shelves in the Christian section of bookstores from from youthful, good-looking pastors with wishy-washy messages and requested a copy of "Sun Stand Still" for review to see what he had to say. I was blown away. I began reading on a train trip into the city. When I looked up, I realized we had pulled into the station and that an hour and a half had passed unnoticed so engrossed was I in this book. It was almost like the earth stood still as I heard God speaking directly to my heart.
The pastor's goal is to "incite a riot in your mind." "To trip your breakers and turn out the lights in your favorite hiding places of insecurity and fear. Then flip the switch back on so that God's truth can illuminate the divine destiny that may have been lying down inside you for years." And for me, he did just that.
He challenges the reader to ask God for the impossible and to believe that He will deliver. Furtick gives examples from his own life (and it's an amazingly anointed one) about how he entered the ministry, how the Charlotte church was planted and grew against the odds -- even how he reached his college football team for Christ. He combines humor, scripture and wisdom beyond his years to convince you that anything is possible. Most of the lessons focus on the answered prayer in Joshua 10 when God makes the sun stand still.
Furtick has real skill as a preacher. He uses examples from his own life and biblical stories to make his point -- much in the storytelling manner Jesus used himself. We're left with truths, practical application and instruction that stay with us long after the "sermon" has ended. Some part of my faith was awakened by reading this book and I did something that I almost never do -- I sat down and read it again. It then became the focus of my personal study time with the Lord. Furtick includes guidelines for a "Sun Stand Still" prayer and gets you up out of your slumber of faith into proactively seeking the Lord and expecting Him to act.
Furtick also taught me a lot about not judging a book by its cover -- whether it's the book itself or a hip pastor who looks like he's 12.
You can buy the book here. There is information about the Sun Stands Still Movement at www.sunstandstill.org or visit the author's page at www.stevenfurtick.com.
A review copy of the book was provided by the publisher.