I first gained exposure to Kristen Welch when my husband gifted me with a subscription to Fair Trade Friday, a ministry of Mercy House, which Kristen is the founder of. When I saw Kristen had a new book out, Raising World Changers in a Changing World, I was eager to read it.
Raising World Changers in a Changing World is a hard book to classify. It’s part parenting, part memoir, part Christian living. Since Kristen is the founder of a non-profit, I was a bit concerned Raising World Changers in a Changing World would feel unapproachable for ordinary people like me. It didn’t. It’s accessible and yet challenging, not just for the founders of non-profits but for ordinary moms.
Raising World Changers in a Changing World is accessible because Kristen vulnerably shares her own parenting failures with her readers. At one point, she shares a story of crushing her daughter’s dreams and then ends by saying, “I will never, ever forget what it feels like to crush your child’s dreams. It’s a feeling I wish I didn’t know.” While not all moms can relate to founding an NPO, we can all recount our parenting mistakes.
In a nutshell, the premise of Raising World Changers in a Changing World is, "Perhaps the most powerful lessons we teach our children is that their unique places & positions in life are not for their convenience; they are for God's glory."
To that end, Kristen challenges her readers to remember that “The safest place for our family is wherever Jesus leads us. We aren’t called to safety, and what’s completely safe these days anyway?” Since my family is currently in transition – I’m moving to a new call at a new church and my family is relocating as a result, this was a poignant reminder for me at precisely the right time.
In addition to appreciating Raising World Changers in a Changing World as a parent, I also appreciated it as a youth pastor. I found Kristen’s reminder of the importance of parents in raising faithful children sobering. According to her, “the average child gets only about 40 hours per year of spiritual teaching from a church, and that’s with regular weekly attendance… If we are depending on the church to raise spiritually grounded, mature believers who live out their purpose, glorify God, and withstand the shifting truth sweeping across our world, we will fail our children. The church comes alongside the family to emphasize and reiterate what children are learning at home.”
Overall, two of the things that make Raising World Changers in a Changing World worth reading are the two sections at the end of each chapter. In the first, Kristen interviews one of her children about generosity. In the second, Kristen offers very practical, tangible ways to practice generosity. While her suggestions are things I look forward to trying with my family, I’m also excited to implement some of them in my youth ministry.
Without a doubt, Raising World Changers in a Changing World is a book that I will recommend often to fellow moms. It’s also one that would make for a great book club discussion for MOPS or similar moms groups.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Raising World Changers in a Changing World from Baker Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.