The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School

Cameron Cole and Charlotte Getz
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The pressure of being a teenager can be overwhelming. School, sports, jobs, and relationships all press in at the same time. But the hardest thing can be feeling alone, that you have no one to share your most difficult problems with. In The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School, thirty authors from many different backgrounds come together to say, "We get itÑand Jesus gets it too. Here's who Jesus is and how he wants to meet you in this intense time."

Hear from authors such as Scott Sauls, Sandra McCracken, Michelle Reyes, Jen Pollock Michel, David Zahl, and others as they share firsthand stories of bullying, eating disorders, pregnancy, addiction, racism, family conflict, expectations, and the intense pressure to achieve. See how their encounters with Jesus brought healing, rest, and purpose to their lives and hear what they wish they knew earlier: when you know Jesus, you know what it's like to be perfectly loved and accepted, have hope for the future, and experience grace and mercy when you mess up.

Edited by Cameron Cole and Charlotte Getz of Rooted Ministry, The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School, will help you discover the love, freedom, affection, and acceptance we all so desperately long forÑin Jesus.


Cameron Cole is the Director of Children, Youth, and Family at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, AL. He is the founding chairman of Rooted Ministry, the editor of Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide, the coeditor of The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School, and author of Therefore I Have Hope: 12 Truths That Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy.

Charlotte Getz is the Director of Publishing Projects at Rooted Ministry. She is the coauthor of Unmapped: How Two Women Lost at Sea Found Their Way Home and coeditor of The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School. Charlotte has a BA in Creative Writing from Pepperdine University, an MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and currently lives with her family in Birmingham, AL.

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"The first time I grasped the truth and power of the gospel was when I saw unexpected joy in my teenage peers. I wanted to know this Jesus who seemed so different, so alive compared to the stained-glass version I saw from the back of my church. I'm so grateful that another generation of youth will come to know this risen Christ through the testimonies of this creative and welcome book."
Collin Hansen, Vice President of content and editor in chief of The Gospel Coalition; host of the Gospelbound podcast

"It's been said that 'wisdom comes from experience.' I know that to be true, as over the course of my life I've learned to listen and learn from those who have gone before me who desired to faithfully follow Jesus. The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School is packed with words of wisdom that have been born out of the experience of those who, like you and me, have desired to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Read and treasure these words from my friends. They understand what you're going through. Even more, they offer biblically faithful advice on how to get through it."
Walt Mueller, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

"I want all young people to understand who Jesus is and how Jesus can change their life. This book strips away some of the (often well-intentioned) myths young people have absorbed about Jesus and keeps them ruthlessly focused on the true Jesus. The true Jesus is always compelling."
Kara Powell, Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, Chief of Leadership Formation; coauthor of 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager

"The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School exemplifies a multigenerational vision in which older saints impart gospel-centered, biblical wisdom to adolescent youth. The authors will encourage, equip, and challenge you to live a humble, faithful, and dependent life upon Christ by providing relevant and scriptural teaching on a wide variety of issues faced by today's teenagers."
Brian Cosby, Senior Pastor of Wayside Presbyterian Church (PCA), Signal Mountain, Tennessee; author of over a dozen books, including Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture

"These are honest, sacred pages. The authors courageously unveil true and painful stories from their own high school days, and then they share how those experiences intersect with the gospel, the truest story of all. This book is a gift to its readers. Read it and be tenderly reminded of God's unrelenting love for you."
Drew Hill, Pastor; award-winning author of Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel

"There is great freedom and joy to be found in following the Jesus of the Bible instead of limping after a counterfeit Jesus that the world has constructed. The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School is a road map to the authentic Jesus and will serve as an encouragement for many teens to know that they are not alone and that they are loved beyond measure by their Creator!"
Barrett Jones, Former NFL player; Outland Trophy winner; college football analyst for ESPN Radio

"Students love relatable stories because not only do they help truth come to life, but they help teenagers realize they aren't alone. Most storytellers either seek to entertain or impress, but this book shines the spotlight on Jesus. I believe that these short chapters can help students make sense of the world around them and give them courage to share their own story with others."
Chris Li, High School Ministry Director, Mariners Church

"I wish I could have read The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School when I was a teenager. This is an ideal handbook for parents, students, and teachers, with practical conversation starters and discussion questions on everything from cultural identity to ableism, gender, faith, and more. Through gospel-centered teaching and relatable storytelling, this book will both inspire and equip the next generation to love Jesus more and better understand Jesus's love for them."
Michelle Ami Reyes, Vice President, Asian American Christian Collaborative; author of Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures

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1 Review

  • 5
    A MUST Read for ALL ages!

    Posted by Laura on 09 21 2021

    I spent most of my teenage years wishing someone would be willing to talk about the hard things in life. This book does just that. The 30 authors of this book reveal their heartfelt experiences with grief, heartbreak, pride, sin, performance, failure, etc. The questions at the end of each chapter are thought-provoking and would be great for a group discussion or individual study. No matter what your age/stage, this is a must read!

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