Stop copying someone else's religion.
Start living out a faith that's all your own.
A firsthand faith is never" "what somebody tells you it should be, even if that person is a parent, friend, or pastor. Firsthand means you went after it for yourself "and now it's all yours." That kind of faith is changes everything, but most people only find it by facing tough questions. Like:
If God is real, why does he feel far away?
Can I ever get past the dos and don ts of church?
Why should I even try to follow God when I fail so often?
How do I experience a relationship with Christ that's more than surface level?
Is it possible to have authentic faith when I have so many doubts?
How can I connect with others who take firsthand faith seriously?
In these pages, Ryan and Josh Shook talk candidly about growing up in church only to realize that how things are supposed to be had stopped working for them. They set out to find what makes a young person's faith stick or not.
Each chapter is designed to spark a discussion, and comes complete with personal inventories, Bible teaching, small-group discussion questions, and links to original video.
Now includes bonus Looking Back from Here Q&A with the authors.
About the Author
RYAN SHOOK is a filmmaker and blogger. A graduate of Baylor University, he is married to Sarah, and they live in Houston, Texas. JOSH SHOOK is a musician, a song writer, and a graduate of Belmont University. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Praise for Firsthand
“You can’t live a purpose-driven life without a real and personal faith. Christ didn’t come to start a religion; he came to connect with you in a genuine firsthand relationship. Ryan and Josh Shook will challenge you never to settle for a secondhand religion but instead to develop a personal faith that transforms your life.”
—Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA, and author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Purpose Driven Life
“It’s rare to find young people unafraid to voice their doubts while still being bold in their faith. Ryan and Josh are two of those people.”
—Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC, and author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Circle Maker.
“Josh and Ryan Shook, as the sons of a well-known Pastor and Author – Kerry Shook, have fully embraced the fact that although their dad gave them a great start, they need to run their own race. Learn how to embrace a Firsthand faith and walk in the strength of a personal relationship with Christ.”
—Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor, Elevation Church & author of the New York Times bestseller, Greater
“Firsthand is a rich and insightful book for believers who are tired of second-hand religion. Honest, compelling and well-written, Ryan Shook and Josh Shook have given us a huge gift! Their candor is so refreshing, and they point to the way to a vibrant, personal faith. This could be one of the most important books you'll ever read.”
—Jud Wilhite, author of Pursued, senior pastor of Central Christian Church
“Every Christian parent wants their children to develop a faith of their own. Firsthand asks tough questions and guides those with a second-hand faith to find Christ for themselves.”
—Craig Groeschel, Pastor of LifeChurch.tv, author of Soul Detox, Clean Living in a Contaminated World
“Ryan and Josh Shook don’t shy away from the tough questions, but face them head on, in this powerful book that will encourage young adults to not settle for an inherited faith, but to discover a true relationship with Jesus that is unique, exciting, and every bit your own.”
—Pete Wilson, Pastor of Cross Point Church, and author of Plan B and Empty Promises