September 13, 2016

When You Know a Good Trade... A Mile Wide Book Review Post

I originally applied to be on Jen Hatmaker's Launch Team for For the Love (because, of course!) Because, well -- I'm no stalker, but I do love me some Jen Hatmaker.  The Team would only consist of 500 people and quickly the thousands (literally) of us who didn't make the team went rogue (at least on Twitter!) and the hashtag #the4500 was created and we became the unofficial backup team.

So when her husband Brandon went to gather a Launch Team for his newest release A Mile Wide he invited us all to play along! With the subtitle of the book being "Trading a Shallow Religion for a Deeper Faith" --well, I know a good trade when I see one!

A Mile Wide: Trading a Shallow Religion for a Deeper Faith by Brandon Hatmaker should be required reading for anyone involved in ministry (which, by the way, is all of us!) 

It's so much more than just Kingdom vs. Religion. It's filled with actual how-to's and tips on how to deepen your walk and actually live out your calling! I finished my ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) and immediately ordered two hardbacks... which I am pretty sure I will be giving away and ordering more!

Brandon is the real deal. He is a straight shooter and as much as I stalk love his wife, I had to break it to my Honey and I was falling for Brandon, too! This Hatmaker team together? World changers! And this book? It's a Game Changer!

In a world and culture that is constantly preaching how we need to be building a platform and growing a following, Brandon reminds us that the Kingdom is all about fighting for the bottom and lovingly serving and lifting others up.  He reminds us that Jesus was never after fans... He wanted followers and He calls us to follow after Him. To follow His lead and to walk in His footsteps. 

As I mentioned, as soon as I read the last sentence, we went and ordered a couple of copies of this book --one to give to our lead pastors, and one for my husband and I to read together. The four of us did something super crazy a little over a year ago.  We decided that we had waited long enough... searched hard enough... to find a place that we could call home. So we said a risky Yes to God, answering the call to start a new church. Our core values, our beliefs, our vision and goals... Brandon pretty much lays them out in A Mile Wide and it's both confirming and stretching.  

This is Kingdom... this is Jesus. 

And as much as we can see it and feel it and know it to be true, what I love most about this book is that he gives tips and steps in HOW to do it!  

Seriously, you guys... this is super helpful! 

This book belongs not only on your shelf... in your church library... and made available for small group studies... but ultimately, it belongs in your heart. 

Read it and read it again. 

Take notes. Highlight, dog-ear, underline... 

Write down the steps Brandon lays out and then go and DO them... and watch His Kingdom come, and His will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!

Below are some of my favorite quotes but I loved this book so much I wanted to underline and dog-ear ALL the pages!

"His gospel was for all, his community was inclusive, his discipleship was holistic, his mission was eternal, and his kingdom was vast. Everything about Jesus and his dream for us was bigger, wider, and deeper than we can imagine." ~Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide

"Living a gospel-centered life is the difference between a constantly yearning faith and a consistently fulfilled faith." ~Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide 

"...the gospel that saves is the the same gospel that transforms and renews. This is the same gospel that is actively restoring all of creation. It's an active gospel that does not begin and end with salvation. It continues to work, heal, make new, shine light into the darkest places, and bring hope into the most desperate moments." ~Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide 

 "There is no better place for a friend or neighbor to first experience the gospel than in our living rooms or at our dinner tables." ~Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide

"We have a lot to learn from Jesus' perspective. He chose the most outcast-iest and the most outsider-ish outsider." ~Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide

"Whenever in doubt, may we always return to Jesus. That's the foundation of trading a shallow religion for a deeper faith." ~Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide

I know, right? SO good! Obviously, you need this book! We all need it... we need the truth and grace and freedom that it stirs up in us and we need the push to actually dive deeper and live wider... to leave religion behind and instead, be releasers of His Kingdom!

We all need to remember to:

* I was honored to be a part of Brandon's Book Launch Team for A Mile Wide and the above review is my honest opinion after reading an Advanced Reader Copy. 

No Affiliate links were used.

I'm linking up with the lovely writer communities linked below:

Kelly Chripczuk  for #SmallWonders 

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Lori Schumaker for #MomentsofHope

Barbie Swihart for #Glimpsesofhisbeauty

Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory


  1. Karrilee,
    Thanks for an inspiring book review. Yes, living out the gospel makes all the difference :-) Praying God blesses you and your hubby in your church plant.

  2. I thought Jen Hatmaker's book sounded good, but now I may have to check both of the books out! What an encouragement that this husband and wife team both have the gift of writing! God has definitely blessed them, and also blessed us with these books! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh Ann... yes - they are BOTH so good! Pretty much anything Jen writes or says is going to make you laugh and then pack a punch as a follow up! Brandons approach is a little different but still so powerful and impactful! I can't even imagine being at a table with BOTH of them! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I'm new to the Hatmakers, because --- life! But I'm quickly catching on. 😉 This sounds like a wonderful book, Karrilee! Thanks for the heads up!

    1. Oh Dianne... welcome to the club! ;) The Hatmakers are amazing and this really is a wonderful book! I'm a little jealous that you are just now discovering them! They do not disappoint!

  4. Sounds like I need to check out this book!

    1. Yes. Seriously... I really think everyone should read this book. It's inspiring but even more than that - it lays out actual steps to take to live it out! So good!

  5. I love this! Will put it on my list for sure, just ordered a handful so need to read those first. Man oh man, this sounded like Kyle Idleman's Not A Fan at first, and a leader I want to follow behind, who is about going lower rather higher, to which I must this writing gig feels more like the opposite sometimes, bleh! I just read something recently though by Arabah Joy that said we just to engage and be there, and God will do the rest. (I think I just preached to myself on your comments oh wow!) LOL Have a blessed day, Kar!

    1. Oh I so get the handful of books! ;) It is always inspiring to see leaders who are rising or who have risen to the top --who still fight to get to the bottom to serve! And yes and amen... all the platform building and hits and likes and blah blah blah... blogging can be hard and lonely but I agree with Arabah! We write for One and trust that whoever needs to find it --whenever they need to find it... He will guide them! I'm always still so surprised when I get a new comment on a super old post --but God! Thanks so much for stopping by, Meg!

  6. Confession: I have never read any of Jen's book, but it's on my to-do list for 2017 to read at least one. Loved their show on HGTV and her Facebook page is one of my favorites. Last week, she got me all excited about eating pickles. :)

    Thanks for sharing Brandon's book with us. It's looks like a great read.

    .... so many books, so little time!


    1. Hey Lyli! It's so nice to see you here, friend! Confession: I still have Seven but I have not read it yet! LOL! It's a hard one because it calls you to give up specific things but I have heard only amazing things about it, so soon! ;)

      I highly recommend her book Interrupted. It's a lot of their own testimony and really encouraging and powerful! It would pair nicely with this book by Brandon too! (And amen to their HGTV show, her fb page, ...and yes - even the pickles, too!)

      And of course... amen and oh men to 'so many books, so little time!'

  7. This sounds so rich!..In an age where church agendas can suffocate the good news, I'm always looking for prophetic voices who can point the way back to creating Jesus' beloved community gatherings, and to be reminded of how we can be better Christians when we forget! You are a blessed book launch team member! I love how you simply share both your admiration for this dear couple, and the beautiful message in Brandon's book. I love how it offers practical steps..and how encouraging your church's message is aligned with the message in his The Holy Spirit is moving through so many of you starting churches..with deep messages of love. How we need churches rooted in Christ's good news!!! Blessings!

    1. All I can add or say in response is Amen and Amen, Kathy! Thanks so much for stopping by!



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