Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress

Shelby Abbott
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This humorous, poignant, and conversational guide invites young men and women to practically apply gospel solutions to all of life’s pressures, big or small. From navigating failure, roadblocks, and spiritual warfare to tackling relevant, hard-hitting topics such as drinking, sex, dating, pornography, and the fear of missing out, Pressure Points by Shelby Abbott encourages college students to consider Jesus in the midst of everyday struggles.

With twenty years of experience in college ministry, Shelby Abbott is keenly aware of the pressures young men and women face. Used for biblical reflection, group discussion, devotional reading, or large group Bible study discussion, Pressure Points is full of rich gospel hope for all readers. This flexible resource points to Scripture and Abbott’s funny, easily digestible reflections to help modern-day college students maneuver their early years toward the gospel, challenging young adults to see their struggles through a biblical lens.

By addressing relevant challenges and practical hardships with gospel advice, Pressure Points guides readers to see and lean on the person of Jesus, reflecting on important issues in light of the gospel. From waiting on the Lord with patience, learning to fellowship with him in his sufferings, to wrestling with purpose, relationships, and the growing challenges of today’s culture, Pressure Points is a timely and refreshing voice for young people pointing to a bottomless pit of grace.


Shelby Abbott is an author, campus minister, and conference speaker on staff with the ministry of Cru. His passion for university students has led him to speak at college campuses all over the United States and author the books Jacked and I Am a Tool (To Help with Your Dating Life). He and his wife, Rachael, have two daughters and live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

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“Shelby Abbott has a sharp mind and an even sharper wit, and he brings both to bear on some of the key issues facing so many in our churches today. He writes with the wisdom of a mentor but the tone of an older brother who’s on your side. This is a terrific resource with so much biblical and practical guidance.”
Sam Allberry, Speaker, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; author of Seven Myths about Singleness

“Being a student is stressful. We’re at an age and time where pressure feels perpetual and overwhelming. So we need help. We need resources from those who’ve been there and done that and can give us seasoned, brilliant advice. Enter Shelby Abbott. Shelby’s not only been there and done that—he works full-time with students who are still doing it. He’s funny, biblical, faithful, and wise. Pressure Points is a book every college student needs to read.”
Jaquelle Crowe, Author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years

Pressure Points serves as a timely book full of wisdom to transform life’s greatest pressures into opportunities for spiritual transformation. Shelby Abbott offers a beautifully written, vulnerable, and biblically sound book to guide us on our journey through the stress of finding purpose, managing relationships, and understanding suffering. With excellent discussion questions and relatable examples to explore, you’ll love reading this book alone or with a group. Don’t miss this book!”
Heather Holleman, Faculty Commons, Cru; author of Chosen for Christ: Stepping into the Life You’ve Been Missing and Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison 

“Shelby’s put together an excellent work. I know he says it’s for college students, but I can’t imagine anyone in any stage of life not feeling every one of these pressure points. He helps us see that so many things that cause us stress in life don’t have to be distractions that take us away from Jesus, but they can be divine signposts—each one highlighting a unique thirst for satisfaction in Christ. A must-read for all students who will find themselves inevitably struggling through these issues.”
John Onwuchekwa, Lead Pastor, Cornerstone Church, Atlanta, GA; council member, The Gospel Coalition

“The pressure of decisions, relationships, and failures can be overwhelming, yet God’s Word supplies grace to calm our anxious hearts. Pressure Points applies God’s truth to these stressful areas in a way that strengthens our faith in the God who promises to care for us every step of the way." 
Garrett Kell, Lead Pastor, Del Ray Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA

“With children in grade school, high school, and college, my family is just now learning to navigate the stresses and strains of student life. My children are grappling with the unique challenges it brings and we, as their parents, are learning to lead them through it. Pressure Points is just the guide we needed to do this well.”
Tim Challies, Blogger at

“When it comes to student ministry, there are few people I trust more than Shelby Abbott. I’ve watched him up close and far away. He understands the challenges, the struggles, and the angst that so often haunt the college years. In Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress, Shelby deftly blends biblical insight and experiential wisdom to help young people navigate life-shaping questions. Buy two copies of this book—one for that twentysomething in your life, and one for yourself. You won’t regret it.”
Matt Smethurst, Managing Editor of The Gospel Coalition; author of Before You Open Your Bible: Nine Heart Postures for Approaching God’s Word

“Life grows increasingly complex, and adulting brings challenges we underestimate and don’t expect. Shelby Abbott invites you to process tensions under the surface in your life while helping you practically navigate pathways to finding belonging, worth, meaningful relationships, and purpose.” 
David Robbins, President & CEO, Family Life

“Shelby nails it with Pressure Points. This book is a must-read for any Christian university student who walks passionately with Christ yet is honest enough to admit they struggle with the unique pressures that can trouble a young person at such a formative period of time as college.”
Josh D. McDowell, Author and speaker

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Shelby Abbott
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15-18 Years
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REL012120 RELIGION / Christian Living / Spiritual Growth
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17 Reviews

  • 5
    Makes the transition to college much easier!

    Posted by Julie Arduini on 06 10 2019

    There are so many books and resources out there for the high school student and even the graduate. But that transition from high school to college? It's a season that can be full of the best of times and the worst of times, yet little is out there to encourage this age group through such a hard transition. Pressure Points not only embraces this age group, but thinks of every topic a young person needs. The author uses practical advice, humor, and the best guide of all, Jesus, to navigate them through very real issues like relationships, anxiety, and college life. There are questions at the end of each chapter to dive a little deeper. Pressure Points isn't just a great read for individuals, but for a small group setting, too. I definitely recommend Pressure Points for the college student/young person in your life. It's a hard transition, and Pressure Points makes things much easier.

  • 5
    Awesome resource for young adults!

    Posted by Neal on 06 10 2019

    Very few books address stress and anxiety and how to effectively handle it as a Christ follower. Shelby does a phenomenal job of making a connection with his audience and gives practical wisdom and advice. I highly recommend this book! I ordered a case of 50 to use in college ministry.

  • 5
    Helpful and encouraging

    Posted by Jerry Riendeau on 06 10 2019

    Shelby is more in touch with college student culture than anyone I know (and I work in college ministry). In this book he tackles a number of challenges that college students today face. He provides both practical tips as well as a gospel centered perspective. I'd recommend this book to all college students and those who love them.

  • 5
    Highly recommended reading for young adults at university.

    Posted by Wendy on 06 09 2019

    A concise book that informatively addresses the pressures and stresses facing Christian college students today. Abbott starts with the big issues about who we are and how we are fully known and loved by God, which enables the reader to consider their life’s direction and how God wants them to live. He goes on to address the variety of relationships that college students could be in: romantic, friendships, with parents and with their church community and how each can be lived in ways that honour God, even with the complexities they bring. He confronts the emptiness of social media and modern technology head on, as well as how we can look to Jesus when times are hard. Each chapter concludes with three reflection questions for the reader to ponder and so would be excellent for a young adult to read on their own. However, there would also be real benefit to work through it with a mentor, providing opportunity to talk through issues and pray together. It is written with a North American college context in mind, but much is applicable to a wider Western university context. (I received an ecopy in exchange for an honest review)

  • 5
    A wonderful guide that is extremely quotable and easily applicable

    Posted by Tanja Lunney on 06 05 2019

    As a fresh graduate, entering what one call’s “the real world”, how are we supposed to live with all these new found freedoms from a Christian perspective? In Shelby Abbott’s Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress he addresses what life throws at you as you enter into the transition to adulthood. Throughout Abbott’s book he touches on a wide variety of “pressure points” that can be a huge factor for stress and anxiety and supplements these points with biblical wisdom he has given and used himself through the years of being a college student and engaging with college students on a daily basis. I love that Abbott’s book is focused on the culture we live in at hand. Rather than shaming the millennial generation, he builds them up as leaders of the next generation. In Pressure Points Abbott talks about purity, technology and people pleasing, and purpose. He covers a huge variety of topics seamlessly. Pressure Points is a great tool not only for high school graduates, college students, but anyone who is known as the “millennial generation”. Shelby Abbott has written a wonderful guide that is extremely quotable and easily applicable. While Pressure Points did take me a while to read in comparison to other novels I have been able to read, it was due to the heaviness of the text. When you pick up Pressure Points, expect to mediate of godly counsel and the Word of God. Pressure Points by Shelby Abbott is a 5 out 5 stars. This guide is one of a kind, jam packed full of godly wisdom for the millennial generation, and applicable to the culture we live in today.

  • 4

    Posted by Brandyn Jaymes on 06 05 2019

    If you are a high school student, college student, or someone who wants to know more about that generation this book is great. While the book is written specifically for the college age person there are still practical lessons anyone can benefit from. One specific example of this is the relationship section. Abbott discusses the importance of authentic friendships that are not based on the superficiality of texting or DM’s. There are also aspects that don’t necessarily apply to everyone such as the chapter on dating (not truly helpful to those who are already married). Pressure points is the term used for anxiety, struggles, challenges, or tough areas of life. These are natural and felt by everyone and Abbott does a great job discussing them and putting the focus to how this should be lived out in light of the story of God.

  • 4
    Pressure Points

    Posted by Laura V. Hilton on 05 27 2019

    Going to college in the fall? Know someone who is? PRESSURE POINTS is the book for stressed out students (that might work for everyone.) It would be excellent for small group studies or college and career Sunday school classes. It would work for one student alone, too, but it's friendlier with two. The topics are mentioned in the description so I won't repeat them, but they are addressed in a friendly, conversational voice and include discussion questions with room to write. An excellent guide to handling stress and finding yourself. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

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