Called to Worship – Issue #23
By Phil Mershon
Do you find yourself bound up trying to live the Christian life? You know you were saved by grace, but doesn’t it seem too hard to live up to God’s standards?
I’d like to introduce you to a friend who’s been there. René Schlaepfer is a pastor and a recovering legalist. I met René at Kanakuk’s K-Kauai, a Christian family camp in Branson, MO, where he was the speaker.
Each day René gave a life-changing talk rooted in God’s grace as unfolded in scripture and his own life. Everything he shared comes from a book he wrote for his congregation called Grace Immersion: A 50-Day Plunge Into God’s Amazing Grace. I recently recommended this book as a resource for preaching the gospel to yourself, so I wanted to explain why.
5 Reasons to Read This Book
As a former radio disc jockey, René is a very gifted communicator. That comes through in his writings. Here are some reasons to consider reading this book:
- The format – The book is divided into 50 2-page chapters, presented as daily meditations. Additionally there are an extra 14 bonus lessons, weekly video discussion starters and sermon recordings at graceimmersion.com that help extend the content into your daily life. In the appendices you will also find resources like a songlist, bibliography and some Grace Project ideas. This book should ideally be read devotionally and in community.
- The content – While the chapters are short, they are also engaging. René is a master storyteller and you will find yourself laughing while he helps you find the freedom he has discovered in Christ.
- The man – This is not a theoretical book. Everything in these chapters comes through René’s own personal journey to grace. He’s been a pastor for over 20 years and so he should know better, but he found himself living a performance-driven faith that put him in the hospital from self-induced stress. God set him free through a new understanding of the gospel of grace and that message oozes through these pages.
- The Bible – Every meditation is rooted in a scriptural passage or thought. I appreciated the fact that he spent four out of seven weeks exploring the concept of grace in the Gospels, Acts/Galatians, Romans and Ephesians. The Apostle Paul surely understood the need and benefits of God’s saving and sanctifying grace!
- The approach – René tackles some sacred cows in a humorous, but direct way. God has uniquely prepared him to write this book.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Read This Book
- Don’t read this book if you think Christians shouldn’t laugh. You might be tempted to sin.
- If you’re looking for a theological treatise on grace, read no further. This book provides pastoral reflections seeking to help everyday Christians find freedom through grace-filled living. While this isn’t a seminary textbook, every seminarian and pastor should read this for his own soul—and as a model for effective communication.
- If you’ve already got the Christian life figured out, this book won’t help you. Just give it to someone who really needs it—like your pastor! Of course, if you’ve already perfected your faith, you won’t be reading this because you’re in heaven!
I found this book to be very helpful in my personal journey in grace. I encourage you to buy it here.
***NOTE: As with all reviews, I did not receive any payment for this review. I sincerely believe this book will help you grow in grace, which will lead you to a deeper life of worship.***
2 Songs to Help You Grow in Grace
René recommended two songs that I found particularly helpful in considering God’s grace. Give these a listen:
By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North
Grace by Laura Story
Tell me what you think of this book below.