I was first introduced to Skye Jethani when my small group read The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity nearly a decade ago. The Divine Commodity was a thought-provoking read that made for excellent discussion fodder and gave me a huge amount of respect for Skye’s theology and wisdom.
Because of how much I enjoyed The Divine Commodity, I was excited to read Skye’s newest book, Immeasurable: Reflections on the Soul of Ministry in the Age of Church, Inc.
Immeasurable contains a series of essays on the church and leadership. True to Skye's previous books, it’s filled with insights gleaned from years of pastoral experience as well as rubbing shoulders with other pastors. It’s honest, vulnerable, and at times, critical of both leaders and the church.
Immeasurable is designed to challenge leaders so that they – and the church – will more effectively be able to live into and out of God’s call for them. For example, in the essay entitled “Effectiveness,” Skye reminds readers “We have replaced the love of the living God with sacrifices to the Idol of Effectiveness… The most tragic lie the Idol of Effectiveness tells us is that a life spent in serve for God is the same as a life with God.”
One of the chapters of Immeasurable that most challenged me was “Rest.” In it, Skye suggests, “The work we’re calling people to in the church is good, godly, and important but when they’ve not been shown how to bring redemptive patterns of work and rest, activity and silence, into their professional lives and when healthy rhythms of rest are also absent in the church’s life, eventually, the sheep will leave to find a pasture where they can lie down – even if’s a couch in front of a television on Sunday morning.”
Not surprisingly given his earlier work on consumerism in the church, in Immeasurable, Skye speaks out powerfully against consumerism. He warns Christian leaders, “To live as a Christian no longer carries an expectation of obedience and good works but rather the perpetual consumption of Christian merchandise and experiences – music, books, T-shirts, conferences, and jewelry.”
While I know few people who will agree with everything Skye says, I’m confident that even those who don’t will be challenged by what he says. For example, in his essay, “Vampires,” Skye raises the questions, “Why do [those committed to Christ] see Christ as giving them life but view the church as taking it from them?” and “What if the problem isn’t that young people aren’t committed to the church, but that the church isn’t committed to young people?”
As I read Immeasurable I often found myself wishing I was reading it with a group so I had someone to discuss each chapter with. That’s the thing about Skye’s writing. You want to talk about it with other people.
But whether you read it alone or with a group, Immeasurable is well worth reading. Christian leaders in a variety of settings will find it both helpful and challenging.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Immeasurable from Moody Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.