The Vertical Self

The Vertical Self

Identity crisis. Can you see it? Do you recognize it?

Mark Sayers, author of The Vertical Self, explores this very idea in this profound look into the formation and identity of the self.

People are confused. “No longer does culture provide us with a foundation upon which to build an identity,” Sayers writes. Forever, culture has provided sand upon which to build identities with multiple potential hills or foundations – none of which ever fulfils.

In regards to Church, Sayers clearly calls individuals to the carpet, saying it’s not about missional, multi-site, organic, or emerging – it’s about returning individuals back to a God-oriented vertical relationship to form identities of radical holiness.

Overall, this book hits a homerun for me. Personally, as a youth pastor, I work with students who are so thoroughly confused about their identities they can’t hear anything other than what culture SCREAMS at them. The only hope, as I see it, is one-on-one identity formation with their original Lord and Creator.

When Paul declares Jesus is Lord, this meant Jesus is Lord over all of life. Christians have longed lived compartmentalized lives. Instead, as Sayers carefully plods out, Christians must be intently focused on vertically aligning our lives under the banner of Christ’s lordship.

In a similar line with Alan Hirsch, Sayers calls people to this radical discipleship that re-orients their lives solely around Jesus Christ.

I highly suggest reading this book. I hope to read whatever Sayers comes up with next.

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