7: a challenge for 2013

Ever read a book that just…messes with you? Days, weeks, even months later, you still find yourself thinking about it? That has been my experience with a book I read late last summer. It’s by a woman named Jen Hatmaker, who lives in Austin, TX, where she runs a mission-based church with her husband, Brandon.

The book is called 7: an experimental mutiny against excess. The second part of the title was enough to hook me (“mutiny” is such a great word!) since I have struggled with this issue for a long time. Like many of us, I feel that I own too much – or that I am too connected to my possessions. But, I also don’t always know exactly what to do about that.


And here’s where this wonderful book comes in with a challenge. A 7-month experiment. Each month, Jen (along with some of her friends and family) identified a different area of excess and fought back by cutting back to just 7 things. Only eating 7 foods during one month. Only wearing 7 articles of clothing another. And on and on, hoping to discover what God had to say to her in the midst of radically simplifying her life.

And all along, she shares what it is like month my month – in a very conversational, often hilarious book (Alison Chino thought so too – you can read her review here).

So why am I telling you all this? First of all, because I would highly recommend the book. You can even read a little of it online for free (click the pic of the cover). Sound intriguing? Good. Because I also want to invite you to join into a “7” challenge right here at FN. That’s right: starting in February, some of us will start the same 7 month experiment and we’d love for you to join us! Want to find out more? Come by the lobby table any Sunday in January, or send me an email.

A few details:

  • This started as an idea among a group of women at FN, but guys, you’re welcome to read along!
  • This is definitely something you can be involved in a number of ways: do it with your family or existing small group, connect with a new group specifically for this challenge (women), or participate in our Facebook group (click JOIN GROUP on the right side of the page). Come visit with us in the lobby to figure it out.
  • The best way to understand it all is to read the book. Get a copy during January and read it; join the fun in February if you’d like!


Sarabeth Jones is on staff as a part of the arts team at Fellowship North, where she gets to work in many different creative areas. She is married to Bryan and has 3 kids: Elizabeth (15), Jonathan (14), and Will (11). She blogs at the dramatic, and thinks she is pretty darn funny on the Twitters.

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