Move Toward the Mess in your Christian life

A new author wants your worship life to be the opposite of boring.

John Hambrick is part of the leadership team at Buckhead Church, part of North Point Ministries in the Atlanta area. He’s also the author of the powerful new book “Move Toward the Mess: The Ultimate Fix for a Boring Christian Life” by David Cook publisher. The foreword is by Andy Stanley.


Hambrick is speaking out against Christians getting stuck in a rut. It doesn’t matter if your pastor gives boring sermons. It doesn’t matter if the music is dull. Jesus was always in motion. Hambrick writes that if Jesus were boring, the Pharisees would not have killed Him.

Hambrick said, in an interview, he coined the phrase “Move Toward the Mess” at his church. Most of the ministries there were already moving toward the mess. He decided he needed to write about the concept.

Most Christians would rather stay in their comfort zone, he said. “We started to realize if you want to follow Jesus out into the world … that’s what you’ve got to do. Thejohn-hambrickre first mess that God starts to move toward is mine. I struggle with things. My life is sometimes messy, relationally and spiritually. I think there’s a side to all of us that would prefer to stay in our comfort places.”
One of his favorite stories in the book follows the life of a couple named Leroy and Janelle, who are famous in Atlanta for “Hot Dogs and Prayer.”

In December 2005 they moved to the Capitol View area of Atlanta. They hoped to flip a house. Then the economy tanked. The neighborhood got worse.

The couple decided to do something for God’s Kingdom. They picked the worst area in the neighborhood — a corner with a brothel, crack house and halfway house — and set up a weekly ministry called “Hot Dogs and Prayer.” The couple offered to pray for people who accepted free hot dogs. The drug dealers, prostitutes and other people laughed at them while accepting hot dogs. Then, slowly, some began to ask for a prayer.

The stories that really broke the couple’s hearts, Hambrick said, were from the sex workers, who “without exception were mostly girls who had been molested” at age 6 or earlier.

Today, Leroy and Janelle have a ministry called Serenity Steps for those sex workers.

“They’re having a significant impact,” Hambrick said.

You donmove-toward-the-mess’t have to move to the inner-city to make a difference. So Hambrick asks people, “What would it look like to move toward the mess in your context?
“Move Toward the Mess” has discussion questions that would make it great for small groups or individual study.

The book is available from major booksellers. More information is at


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