Jen Pollock Michel is a writer and speaker who lives with her husband and five children in Toronto. She is the author of Teach us to Want: Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith, Christianity Today’s 2015 Book of the Year (InterVarsity Press). Jen also writes regularly for Today in the Word, a devotional published by The Moody Bible Institute, and is a regular contributor for Christianity Today’s popular Her.meneutics blog. Jen earned her BA in French from Wheaton College and her MA in Literature from Northwestern University. You can follow Jen on Twitter @jenpmichel or you can find her at jenpollockmichel.com.
Jen partners with:
Safe Families for Children provides a safe alternative to child welfare custody. Through its network of volunteer families, it offers sanctuary to thousands of children, minimizing the risk for abuse or neglect and giving parents the time and tools they need to help their families thrive. The ultimate goal is to strengthen and support parents so they can become Safe Families for their own children. (Locally, Jen partners with Safe Families Canada.)
HOPE International is a network of micro finance institutions and savings and credit associations operating in 17 countries around the world. We work to empower men, women and families to break the cycles of physical and spiritual poverty through discipleship, biblically-based business training, savings services, and small loans. By incorporating a small witness for Jesus Christ and employing a variety of approaches, HOPE is an innovator in the field of microenterprise development. (Jen and her daughter, Audrey, will be traveling to Rwanda with HOPE in July, 2015.)
* * * * *
(And for the unofficial, first-person version…)
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. My first ambition was to co-author a juvenile fiction series like Sweet Valley High, and while my friend and I completed three chapters, we eventually lost interest. We were thinking about boys, not books.
I continued writing in high school, in college, and in graduate school – and then spent the following ten years trying to shake the academic residue from my words.
For ten years, I have been writing for Today in the Word, a monthly devotional published by The Moody Bible Institute. There has been no better apprenticeship in learning to write biblically and clearly. When constrained to 325 words, a writer learns economy.
In 2011, our family moved to Toronto, and I began blogging to steady my life in the midst of the dizzying change. That discipline of regular writing set me on the unexpected trajectory of writing my first book. In July 2014, Intervarsity Press published Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith, a book about the importance of desire for the life of faith.
The tagline of this site, “In the practice of resurrection” is thrice borrowed. I found it from Eugene Peterson, who entitled the fifth and final book of his spiritual theology series, Practice Resurrection. Peterson borrowed the phrase from Wendell Berry’s poem, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” “The practice of resurrection” speaks to what is central to me: following the resurrected Jesus.
We could cope – the world could cope – with a Jesus who ultimately remains a wonderful idea inside his disciples’ minds and hearts. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God’s new creation right in the middle of the old one. – N.T. Wright
I write – and live – hoping to make sense of this enormously hopeful story, which Christians have been telling for millennia: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
* * * * *