Rooted Recommends: ‘Alongside Jesus’ Devotional for Teenagers 

alongside devotional

In Alongside Jesus: Devotions for Teenagers Drew Hill offers a biblically-rich, theologically-solid, and accessible devotional an excellent for any teenager who wants to grow in his or her relationship with Jesus. Hill makes it clear that the reason he wrote this book is the very reason the apostle John wrote his gospel: so that [teenagers] would know that Jesus is the Christ, and by believing in him, [they] would have life in his name” (John 20:31). Leaning on Scripture, stories, and daily alongside practices,” this book is sure to do just that.

Hill, the author of Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel and practicing pastor, is no stranger to the fears, insecuries, and anxieties that plague the teenage mind and heart. Into these spaces, Hills four-week devotional speaks a word of grace and comfort, leading teenagers to experience the rest and joy that comes from walking alongside Jesus.

Whether your reader is a regular church attender or someone exploring the idea of God for the first time, Alongside Jesus is tailored to help any teenager think deeply about who God is and how he relates to us. Hills writing is accessible, clear, and relatable; he perfectly captures teenage jargon without compromising on theological depth.

Each day in the devotional, teenagers interact with a different scene of Jesus in the gospels. In doing so, Hill demonstrates that when we look at Jesus, we see the face of God. And that face is one of delight, favor, compassion, and forgiveness. Accompanying each reading, Hill provides: questions, a story, and an alongside practice”—an often simple yet profound spiritual practice for the reader to try out that day. These often encourage the teenager to reflect and respond to what they have just read.

Hill masterfully encourages teenagers to live a counter-cultural life, yet he never slips into legalism. Every day, teenagers will hear the clear message of Jesusunmerited love and favor for them through Hills exposition of Scripture.

Perhaps one of the strongest and most unique features of this devotional is its emphasis on encouraging teenagers to seek community with other believers, both old and young. Hill seems to have a firm grip on the truth that true growth in the faith can never be accomplished alone. At the beginning of the book, teenagers are encouraged to recruit an alongsider,” someone with whom they are to read the book and talk through guided questions at the end of each week (the weekend conversation”). Similarly, Hill often emphasizes the importance of teenagers talking to their parents, trusted pastors, and youth group leaders about their faith and what they are learning about Jesus. For a generation of increasingly isolated teenagers, Hills emphasis on community is timely and necessary.

In addition, Alongside Jesus encourages teenagers to slow down in order to more richly connect with Jesus. As any youth minister will tell you, there is perhaps no practice more important for todays teenager than this. In an ever-changing, fast-paced, hustling world, teenagers need the gracious reminder that Jesus invites weary souls to come to him and rest.

If you know and love a teenager who could benefit from this invitation to come alongside Jesus and rest, consider Hills devotional as a way to extend that invitation to him or her.

Rebecca serves as the Ministry Development Coordinator/Assistant Editor for Rooted. Previously, she has worked in both youth and young adult ministries. She is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and  Beeson Divinity School (M.T.S). Rebecca is happiest on a porch swing, in a boat, or on the dance floor.

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