About the Book
In 1978, author Richard Foster wrote: “In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in ‘muchness’ and ‘manyness’ he will rest satisfied.”
We’re not quite sure what Foster saw in the world around him back in the late 70s, but how much more has our North American culture – and college campuses – become defined by noise, hurry, crowds, and the pursuit of “muchness” and “manyness?”
Today’s student is living a life that is distracted by the chaos of campus and culture – a life where they often struggle to discern or experience the activity of God in their midst. It’s not that He’s absent, but more so that the volume, pace, and context of their life leaves little if any room to be able to experience the presence, purpose, and peaceful existence that we have available in Jesus Christ.
In his new book: Noise. Hurry. Crowds. On Creating Space for God Amidst the Chaos of Campus and Culture, Guy Chmieleski explores these major cultural distractions, introduces readers to specific spiritual disciplines that are positioned to counter these cultural distractions, and then provides some easy “steps in” to beginning to incorporate these formative practices into everyday life on campus.
Is there anything more radical a person can do in our current culture than to “bravely go looking for God?” I’m not sure. To say yes to God requires saying no to noise and hurry and crowds, and who can really do that? Guy invites us to four core practices that are good for us as individuals. But more than that our world is crying out for people who have been able to be silent, slow, alone, and simplify enough to really get to know themselves. And to bravely seek God. Our world needs more people who have the depth of wisdom and character that comes out of life rooted in these disciplines.
With both feet on the ground, Noise, Hurry, Crowds contextualizes the timeless wisdom of spiritual disciplines into the frenzied daily realities of college students today. In an appealing conversational manner, Chmieleski heartens the Christian student to swim upstream against the culturally normative distracted life into the beauty and bounty of the “with-God” life. Through practical insights, the reader will be strengthened for the “small wins” that establish the practices of silence, sabbath, solitude and simplicity. This is a potent summons to today’s college student to sow the proper seeds for the peace of God to rule over the chaos of life.
After over 32 years of ministry to college students, I can attest that our campuses are more chaotic than ever before. With classes, jobs, events, technology, social media, etc., our students are constantly bombarded with information and voices coming from all directions at all times proclaiming a wide variety of values and ideas. The noise, hurry, and crowds that define the world our students live in makes it both hard for them to know and hear God and to know and care for themselves. Guy Chmieleski does a great job of describing the needs of today’s students and providing both a clear rationale and practical steps for living a different kind of life – a With-God life. I know that this book will be helpful for the students that I work with and will benefit students on campuses across the country.
Sometimes it takes a scream to get students to life their faces from a screen, and though Guy does not physically scream in this book, his words resonate loud and clear with how I have experienced life with God – and these words need to be heard and read and discussed among the students with whom we work. Guy not only describes the problems created by noise, hurry, and crowds, but provides ways to combat these pressures that keep us from hearing God. It is accessible, it is deep, it is relevant, and it is just what we need today.
In Noise, Hurry, & Crowds, Guy Chmieleski does an excellent job of presenting four of the spiritual disciplines in apply-to-life ways. The book is clearly written for a college-age audience, and serves as a great introduction to these life-changing practices. I highly recommend it!
I just finished reading Guy Chmieleski’s Noise, Hurry and Crowds and I am ready to not only add his book to my list of “required reading” for campus leaders, but to also buy several copies for each staff member that is a part of my campus ministry organization. Guy has identified several key cultural issues an emerging generation is facing on the college campus, and how these issues hinder their deep spiritual growth. But he doesn’t stop there. Guy also has also assembled practical methods for combatting these cultural issues. As one who is keenly interested in making disciples on the university campus, Guy understands the need for students to reach spiritual maturity. Noise, Hurry, and Crowds in the hands of students will inspire conversation, ignite enthusiasm, and lead to life-long spiritual transformation when used as a field guide for Christian communities on campus. This is why I want to get it (first) into the hands of my campus pastors–knowing that true spiritual growth will happen as spiritual mentors and pastors recognize the issues Guy has recognized and practice the disciplines Guy has learned. I highly recommend this book to college students, especially student leaders, and anyone who is interested in mentoring college students–pastors, educators, mentors, and parents.