The Very Worst Missionary

The Very Worst Missionary : A Memoir or Whatever

4.13 (2,352 ratings by Goodreads)
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Wildly popular blogger "Jamie the Very Worst Missionary" delivers a searing, offbeat, often hilarious memoir of spiritual disintegration and re-formation.

After finding Jesus at a suburban megachurch, young Jamie Wright trades in the easy life on the cul-de-sac for the green fields of Costa Rica. There, along with her husband, kids, and the family cat, she intends to serve God and make converts. But faced with the yawning culture gap and persistent shortcomings of coworkers, she soon loses faith in the Christian "enterprise" and falls into a funk of cynicism and despair. Fortunately, Knives the cat is there, looking on with just enough disinterest to make her laugh...and dare her to try another way.

That other way turns out to be telling the truth. She launches a renegade blog, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, which against all odds soon wins a large and passionate following around the world--especially among the folks back home sending money. But the very act of baring all forces Jamie to wrestle with her own slacker self. Slowly, she begins to see that being a "bad" missionary--awkward, doubtful, sceptical--can mean you're just the kind of person someone else might be willing to hear, and that, whether overseas or right next door, loving others is as much about changing you as it is about converting them.

The Very Worst Missionary is a disarming, ultimately inspiring spiritual memoir for well-intentioned underachievers everywhere. It will appeal to readers of Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jen Hatmaker, Ann Lamott, Jana Reiss, Mallory Ortberg, and Rachel Held Evans.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 132 x 203 x 20.32mm | 181.44g
  • Convergent
  • United States
  • English
  • 0451496531
  • 9780451496539
  • 169,422

Review quote

"Jamie is the only Christian writer I know who doesn't filter her thoughts and words through an 'appropriateness meter, ' so her memoir is original, hilarious, and believable. Jamie shows that a woman can be full of contradictions, full of fire, and full of faith--all at same time. If you find yourself losing your religion, read this brilliant book before you bail. It's possible to be thinking, honest, inclusive, relevant, compelling, compassionate and Christian--Jamie's proof."
-Glennon Doyle, author of the #1 NYT Bestseller Love Warrior; founder of Together Rising "This book doesn't suck--at all. In fact, it's one of the smartest, funniest, and truest books on faith I've ever read. The Very Worst Missionary will draw you in and keep you thinking. It will remind you that, even when you think you're at your worst, you're not alone."
-Rachel Held Evans, New York Times bestselling author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Searching for Sunday

"This book might make you clutch your pearls, or laugh out loud, or angry. It might break your heart. Maybe all of the above. But at least you won't remain unmoved by Jamie's profound, wise and funny-as-hell story. Jamie's love for the church is ferocious and refining, and we desperately need to read and heed this book."
-Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith

"Wright, founder of the Jamie the Very Worst Missionary blog, exposes her disenchantment with missionary work in this irreverent, fast-paced memoir."
-Publishers Weekly

"Think of The Very Worst Missionary as the literary lovechild of Mother Theresa and Sarah Silverman--a crass-and-light-filled narrative that will have you laughing one minute and looking in the mirror the next. We need this book in the very worst way."
-Matthew Paul Turner, author of Churched and When God Made You

"If you've lived and worked abroad, I predict you will nod your head in recognition as Jamie takes on the sacred cows of Christian missions with honesty, humor, and not a religious platitude in sight. Her transparency and courage is exactly what we need."
-Tara Livesay, director of Heartline Ministries, Haiti

"Jamie had me howling with laughter and cringing with recognition at her earnest and yet misguided endeavor to save the world. Equal parts memoir and scathing but self-deprecating critique, Very Worst Missionary shows how even our best intentions can go awry, and how we can find our way again."
-Kristen Howerton, author of Rage Against the Minivan

"Jamie Wright will have you doubled over in laughter one minute, wiping tears the next. Rip-roaringly funny, brutally honest, and so very absolute joy to read from first page to last."
-Nish Weiseth, author of Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World

"We've traveled with Jamie into red-light districts in Asia, where we've seen how she's been able to use her voice to advocate for the most vulnerable. In The Very Worst Missionary, she hosts a conversation that globally minded people of faith absolutely need."
-Matt and Laura Parker, founders of The Exodus Road

"Gritty, funny, and thoughtful...all the things faith should be but rarely is. I love Jamie's story, her voice, and the way she looks at the world. After you read this, I'm confident you will, too."
-Jeff Goins, author of The Art of Work

"Jamie writes with eloquence, humility, and snark (no doubt a spiritual gifting). Everyone should read this brave book."
-Emily Worrall, co-creator of Barbie Savior

"Never before have I seen a fellow Christian write with such courage, authenticity, and balance. You will come away feeling that your hurts and frustrations have been validated, and motivated to love bigger."
-Benjamin L. Corey, author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith

"Jamie brings the wit of Joan Rivers, the pen of Mary Carr, and the spirit of a prophet. This is one of those rare religious books that makes you feel okay with who you are, while inspiring you to want to be better."
-Caleb Wilde, author of Confessions of a Funeral Director

"Jamie gives us permission to admit just how screwed up we really are, and accept how much God loves us anyway. One of the best, most refreshing books I've read in a very long time. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
-Zack Hunt, writer, blogger, preacher
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About Jamie Wright

JAMIE WRIGHT blogs at Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, and travels widely to speak in support of groups working against human trafficking. She lives with her husband, their teenage sons, and their celebrity cat, Knives, in Northern California.
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Rating details

2,352 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 39% (929)
4 41% (956)
3 15% (357)
2 4% (85)
1 1% (25)
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