Saturate (book review)

Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life
Jeff Vanderstelt
Crossway, 2015

They say you shouldn’t just read books you think you’ll agree with. It was with that attitude in mind that I approached Jeff Vanderstelt’s Saturate. I shared the concerns of TGC reviewer Joshua Hill, but was encouraged by his conclusion: ‘You may not be a proponent of missional communities—I still wouldn’t say I am—but Saturate will challenge you to live a life of intentional discipleship’. Having read the book, I would echo that conclusion.

I expected the book to consist of lots of things I didn’t agree with, but with a few useful principles to take on board. And while it would be easy to pick holes, I actually found the book really refreshing. Vanderstelt’s vision, like that of the authors of Everyday Church, is ‘of church as the people of Jesus living intentionally together on mission in the everyday stuff of life’ (p. 37). This book gives us both the principles and examples of what it looks like in practice.

It’s the examples that Vanderstelt gives that make the book. No matter how strongly you might disagree with the idea of such ‘gospel communities’ replacing Biblical church structures, it’s hard to fault the picture he paints of what the church should look like through the week. And most of his examples don’t require a huge budget or a massively talented congregation.

Vanderstelt says that after avoiding writing this book for 6 years, he could avoid it no longer because his heart was captured by a vision he couldn’t shake. And if this book helps that vision become a reality in the lives of ordinary church members from Monday-Saturday, that can only be a good thing.

Thanks to Crossway for a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page review programme.