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Ir-rev-rend: Christianity Without the Pretense. Faith Without the Façade Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 28, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446572128
  • ASIN: B00AK2TW8Y
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Pastor of a successful megachurch in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Surratt has written an accessible, engaging, and down-to-earth memoir that shows him to be an adept writer of a plain-spoken, colloquial variety. Divided into chapters titled "calling," "doubt," "mistakes," "sex," and "power," each conveys a teachable moment in which an unexpected turn of events becomes an opportunity to learn what Surratt believes is a lesson from God. Typically, these involve insights about humility, discipline, or forgiveness. The book's title notwithstanding, Surratt is far from an irreverent reverend. A Pentecostal preacher's son, he has chosen a well-trod path within the evangelical non-denominational subculture, one that precludes premarital sex and sees hell as a tangible terminus for many. Perhaps what's most distinctive about Surratt is his level-headedness, his ability to own up to his emotions, and his knack for not prejudging others. Fans of his Seacoast Church, known for its 14 locations across the larger Charleston region, will appreciate his straight-talking approach." (Publishers Weekly, 2011 )

"I can tell you this: Greg Surratt is one of the good guys. He communicates by telling stories--natural, unpretentious, useful parables of real faith." (Founder and Chairman, Leadership Network and author of Halftime Bob Buford 2011)

"IR-REV-REND is a refreshing read. Greg Surratt's ability to tell a story is uncanny. His life-changing wisdom and sidesplitting humor will keep you captivated." (Life Church TV Craig Groeschel 2011)

"In a world where most people think they gain credibility by hiding their imperfections, Greg Surratt turns that myth on its head with IR-REV-REND. Hang on for the ride because there are bumps, but they are really great bumps." (Media consultant, filmmaker, and author of Jolt Phil Cooke 2011)

"To those tired of the plastic, shallow spirituality, IR-REV-REND is for you. Read it and you will be impacted in profound ways." (Pastor of Journey Church in St. Louis and Author of Church Planter Darrin Patrick 2011)

"Greg Surratt is really qualified to write this book. He is sincere, humble and without pretense." (New Life Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Author of Fear No Evil Brady Boyd 2011)

"The laughing brain engages more than the bored brain. Prepare to laugh, learn, and grow by reading Greg Surratt's true life tales of family, marriage, church and leadership in IR-REV-REND. I couldn't put it down." (Managing Director of Leadership Network and co-author of Beyond Megachurch Myths Dave Travis 2011)

"Greg Surratt's stories of faith and ministry will leave you wanting more, and not just more of Greg's stories, but also more of the God behind the stories." (Author and pastor, North Coast Church, Vista, CA Larry Osborne 2011)

" IR-REV-REND is a delightful adventure shown through a prism of honesty and conviction through which the joys of serving the Lord are made so much clearer." (Co-founder of the Dream Center Matthew Barnett 2011)

"Greg Surratt is one of the most life-giving and wise leaders I know. He brings that insight and wisdom to this terrific book." (senior pastor at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV, and author of Throw It Down Jud Wilhite 2011)

"There are books and there are books that matter and make a difference. This is absolutely one that matters and makes a difference." (producer, musician, composer Brent Rowan 2011)

"Oh my gosh! Put down everything else and read this book. You will laugh through it, cry through it, fly through it--you won't be able to put it down. It's delightful--vintage Surratt!" (senior pastor, Manna Church, Fayetteville, NC Michael Fletcher 2011)

"This compelling book will inspire you to live your own brand of ir-rev-rence." (pastor at Celebration Church, and author of Rocked Joe Champion 2011)

"This book is a lot like him: honest, funny, and entertaining, and at the same time, powerful, poignant and thought provoking." (Lead Pastor, The Life Church of Memphis John Siebeling 2011)

"Greg Surratt is one of the great pastors in the modern day church. This book is a must read. Thanks Greg for sharing it with us all." (Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA Jonathan Falwell 2011)

"This is a book with long legs that people will be talking about for years." (author of Same Kind of Different as Me Ron Hall 2011)

"Blatantly honest, refreshingly authentic, and continually comedic." (founding senior pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN Pete Wilson 2011)

"With a knack for storytelling and penetrating insights, this book will make you laugh, think and reflect. It doesn't hurt that it's a lot of fun to read!" (3DM Global Team Leader Mike Breen 2011)

"IR-REV-REND was very entertaining and yet challenging at the same time. It draws you in and it is hard to put down." (minister of creative arts, C3 Church Martha K. Fry 2011)

"IR-REV-REND will challenge the way you live out your faith--all while putting a grin on your face." (vice president of research and ministry development for LifeWay Christian Resources Ed Stetzer 2011)

"I get the chance to hang with a lot of Pastors and there are very few that I know who are as 'real' as Greg Surratt. You will find this book refreshingly honest and encouraging. Everyone needs an 'Ir-Rev-Rend' in their life." (pastor at National Community Church, and author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day Mark Batterson 2011)

"IR-REV-REND will push you to a place of real, raw life-changing faith." (pastor at Elevation Church, and author of Sun Stand Still Steven Furtick 2011)

"Greg Surratt is one of the most effective pastors I've met building a church and then sending it out to minister in the community. A great model. He shares a lot of his common sense, down to earth wisdom in this book. Good advice for the church, and a good read." (founder of Prison Fellowship Chuck Colson 2011)

From the Author


One of my early preaching mentors told me that a good sermon will "make em laugh, make em cry and give em Jesus". That's essentially what I've tried to do with this book. It's a collection of real life stories (including mine) that will hopefully make the readers laugh, cry and push them toward Jesus. The stories deal with faith, hope, doubt, love, sex, money, politics and a bunch of other real life issues that we all wrestle with. I've written it to believers, hoping that the writing will be engaging enough that, after reading it, they will want to give it to their friends who may be struggling with their faith.

I tried to keep it real.

One of my kids saw a preview copy and thought it might be a little too real.

"Dad, some thoughts are probably best kept in your head".

He's probably right, but I left them on the pages anyway. What do kids know?

More About the Author

About Greg

Greg is the founding pastor of Seacoast Church, one of the early adopters of the multi-site model. Located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Seacoast has been recognized by various media as an innovative and influential thought leader in future strategies for church growth and development. Seacoast combines a unique approach to highly participatory worship with a heart for missional evangelism. Greg calls their weekends a "practical, spirit filled, but non-spooky, yet kind of mystical worship experience, done in multiple locations, very inexpensively." Seacoast currently has 29 weekend worship experiences in 13 separate locations.

Greg is also a founding board member of the Association of Related Churches (ARC), a church planting network that has given birth to over 200 churches in the last 10 years. He is married to a very hip grandma, has 4 children, 9 grandchildren and enjoys reading, photography, fishing, golfing and rooting for lost causes...specifically the Cubs, Broncos, and Gamecocks.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
It's light, you feel good reading it, and it really makes you think.
I expect some more great books like this from a modern day humorist and author with great insight into the real behind the scenes of ministry.
Another irreverent pastor
I read this book in two days and was left wishing there were more chapters.
cindy ferrell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Another irreverent pastor on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I didn't expect a few things when I first read this book. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much I couldn't put it down. I read it cover to cover. I didn't expect it to be so funny, I was laughing at life in church and ministry almost ever other page. I didn't expect to have some tears run down my cheek, that was a surprise to me. I didn't expect that within the stories and laughter and sadness would be so much insight and wisdom. This by far is now one of my top 5 books to recommend to pastors and leaders in the church. I do have one expectation from this author. I expect some more great books like this from a modern day humorist and author with great insight into the real behind the scenes of ministry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By cindy ferrell on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow ~ definite must read! You'll end up buying copies for friends once you read this one. I read this book in two days and was left wishing there were more chapters. The way it is written, you can start anywhere in the book and read each chapter in any sequence you like. The author writes like someone who is sitting at Starbucks with you telling you stories of his experiences and what he learned from them. Some are funny, some are sad, some are surprisingly open and revealing ~ like sharing mistakes he made and disappointments he dealt with. He doesn't tell you what to think, but what he shares makes you think. Entertaining, thought provoking, and something I'll encourage my friends to read whether nor not they are Christians.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book review specialist on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this book and WOW. Greg Surratt is one of those guys who is so secure in himself that he's willing to lay himself on the line. Full of humor, frailty, and openness pastor Greg shows us how vulnerability and laughter is always the greatest way to teach. This book will go down as a classic.

Matthew Barnett
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Kelly VINE VOICE on October 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Gregg and Seacoast Church! Having been born, baptized, educated and raised my life a Catholic, I never in a million years thought that I would be a fan of a non-denominational church. Living with endless guilt and a feeling of God abandoning me, a miracle occurred. I received a job offer to move to Mount Pleasant in 1995. Despite my continuing to attend the Catholic Church in the area, I felt a need for so much more. My twin sons, who at the time were 12 years old, starting hanging out with the Youth group at Seacoast. Almost afraid that there was something immoral or unethical, i was a little leery of the non- traditional church lifestyle, but I felt that it would be good for them as the usual church experience was leaving them feeling somewhat empty). Well, needless to say, my boys flourished. I neve atttended Seacoast before I left the area in 1998. However, I had the luck to visit Charleston again in 2009 and I went to Seacoast with my son David. I never felt moved the way I did the day I was there. I attended three more services while I was lucky enough to be there. Since then, I have been a faithful follower using podcasts. Long story short, when Pastor Surratt's book came out, I grabbed it. I loved this book, having already rerad it twice and buying copies for my sons as well. His humorous, loving style of writing is similar to the way he preaches but I must admit it's not quite as good as seeing him in person). You will not be bored nor will you feel anything less than total love by God while reading this book. I highly recommend this book, especially for recovering 'cathoholics' like myself. You will love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Jensen on October 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Innovation is just desperation in a prettier package. The more you get to know Jesus the less likely you are to act like a jerk. There are no faceless models, only people of value who are loved by their creator. These are the three quotes I tweeted today from Greg Surratt's book, Ir-Rev-Rend. I bought it at 4pm and finished it by 6pm. During those two hours, I read a book that resonated with me in a lot of ways. For one thing, Greg's dad was an itinerant evangelist. My dad was a church planter. My upbringing included a free will doctrine that made me wary of losing my salvation, and I often wondered if the Rapture would come and leave me behind. Greg Surratt also had those tenets as part of his upbringing.

Beyond these parallels, another common ground is our desire to follow Jesus, despite our doubts, despite our failings, and despite our brokenness. God calls us all to live beyond ourselves, and Greg does a great job of showing how God has used the people around him and the events in his life to show him how to do that. Even his critics have been used for positive purposes. Greg tells story after story from his actual life to demonstrate how God has moved in his life, and to show that God uses the common to produce the amazing.

One of the things that resonated most with me was the story of the model that prompted the third quote in the first paragraph. I recently blogged about an experience of my own that was in some ways similar, and reading what Greg wrote definitely made me realize that what had happened to me was truly an event from God - mainly because the final lesson was so similar. God uses the things that happen to us to draw us near to him.
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