Editor Buzz: Ir-rev-rend

Book shatters stereotypes of Christian life

Editor Buzz with FaithWords editor Joey Paul

What I like most about Pastor Greg Surratt’s new book, Ir-rev-rend, is that is shatters all the stereotypes and myths about the ups and downs of the Christian life.

Ir-rev-rend, a play on words between “Irreverent” and “Reverend.” It means: a pastor who is somewhat critical of what is generally accepted or respected; a pastor who is trying to make sense of life, love, the church, and other confusing things from a slightly satirical point of view and an irreverent sense of humor; and a “normal” guy pursuing God.

Whatever you may think about the “typical” pastor, throw it out. Do they make mistakes, bad decisions, commit sin and experience severed relationships? The answer is yes. Pastor Greg Surratt isn’t perfect, and he unashamedly tells the stories from his life that has strengthened his faith. He writes that the choice to follow Christ is never clean, is often scary, is usually clothed in mystery and is always an adventure.

For some people, God appears in dark, dirty, lonely, or just plain odd places. Greg found God while huddled under a grand piano, hiding from overzealous friends and family trying to accost him during an altar call at a Pentecostal revival. So began a life of sharing stories of God’s endlessly creative and often surprising work, and seeing God’s transforming power in unexpected ways. Despite years of vocational ministry, Greg never underestimates the power of divine/human encounters in some of the least “churchy” places on Earth.

Humorous, insightful, and challenging, Ir-rev-rend is a revealing and joyous look at real-life Christian living. As Greg himself affirms, if God can use his missteps and blunders, God can use anybody’s.

Greg Surratt is the founding pastor of Seacoast Church, a large and growing church with thirteen campuses hosting twenty-nine weekend worship experiences in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Seacoast is ranked among the top ten most innovative churches and the top ten most influential churches, as well as in the top 100 fastest-growing churches in America. Over 13,000 worshipers attend each weekend.

Engaging and accessible, Ir-rev-rend reflects on the unusual, awesome, and awkward moments of life. In the tradition of Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott, Ir-rev-rend speaks to skeptics, seekers and committed Christians alike who enjoy reading well-written, daringly honest spiritual memoirs.

IR-REV-REND pubs 9/28/11.

Joey Paul is an Executive Editor at FaithWords, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group.


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