This is part of a book blogging project for Scot McKnight‘s book, One.Life. In this blogging project, various contributors will be looking at each chapter of the book as McKnight unfolds his answer to the question, “What is a Christian?” I believe that what McKnight has to say will challenge each of us in different ways on how we view what it means to follow Jesus and how we help children and families understand that. Please interact with what is written here in the comments section below. Also, I encourage you to pick up One.Life and read along with us adding your thoughts and impressions as well.
The review for chatper 8 is submitted by Tim Shiels. Tim Shiels works in Childrens Ministry in Derry, Northern Ireland. He is a former homeless drug addict who is passionate about inspiring children to be all that they can be when they live a life for God, through God and with God. He believes that Jesus Christ is and was the most exciting peron to have ever entered the world and therefore believes that everything we do should reflect his character and life in all its glory.Tim is married to Jennie and together they have 4 children. Sian (10) Oisin (10) Aoife-Mo (6) Cadhla (1). He is also a very enthusiastic marathon runner.
Chapter 8: Church.Life
“For some this may be the hardest chapter to stomach” is a pretty exceptional opening sentence/statement to any chapter in any book. Scot McKnight goes out on a limb even more by suggesting further that “too many of us emphasize kingdom but ignore the Holy Spirit, Pentecost and Church—as if kingdom meant nothing more than justice and peace and love in the world…”
Coming from a Pentecostal background, this chapter was right up my street. At times, I’ve struggled to remain objective because it is a subject that I am deeply passionate about. As soon as anyone mentions the Holy Spirit, they immediately have my attention. Jesus and the earliest followers were big on the Holy Spirit. Their community was big on the Holy Spirit and recognized their dependence on the Holy Spirit for community. Community emerges because the Holy Spirit draws us closer to God and closer to each other, where we can have authentic fellowship and community. The Spirit creates a community that makes the church look and feel the way had planned it to be.
McKnight encourages us “to take a good look at what Jesus (and his early followers) thought community was, and then to ask yourself if you might be interested in that type dream.”
Acts 2:42-47 paints a very clear picture of what God’s vision for community and church should look like. It’s a place where the words community and church are interchangeable and should look, feel and mean the same. In essence Church.Life is community.
We live in a world that puts an increasing amount of pressure on us to make a considerable amount of choices and our children are encouraged to live “the dream.” Very often, though, that “dream” is very opposite to the “kingdom dream” Jesus intended. Sadly, today’s children are encouraged to find independence, to think independently, to become financially independent and to try to make it on their own. Acts shows us something different. It shows us a dependence on God and each other. What our children need more than anything is an authentic expression of Church.Life. Our children need to experience the Church.Life modeled by the early church. The early church made a commitment to the following practices and as a result experienced spectacular growth:
- Learn more about God
- Fellowship with one another
- Worship God
- Power Ministries
Culture will ultimately dictate the way in which these practices are expressed both now and into the future. Regardless of how we each decide to culturally put these practices into motion, they must be at the very core of everything we do as a kidmin community. God has given us a framework to work within—a blueprint for healthy ministries, healthy communities and healthy churches.
We can become part of this kingdom dream at any time by connecting with God’s Spirit and “asking to be empowered and equipped to live as the early fellowship of Jesus followers did.”
“The Church.Life begins when we turn our minds, our hearts and our hands toward God and ask God to flood us with the Spirit of God.” God’s people, need God’s Spirit, for God’s work. Let’s encourage our children to embrace this life, to follow Jesus and to commit their lives to him, his plan and his vision for Church.Life.
Be sure to check out the rest of this book blogging project:
- March 28 – Chapter 1: One.Life – Doug Olson
- March 29 – Chapter 2: Kingdom.Life – Eli Suddarth
- March 30 – Chapter 3: Imagined.Life – Dan Scott
- March 31 – Chapter 4: Love.Life – Emily Mullens
- April 1 – Chapter 5: Justice.Life – Noel Walker
- April 2 – Chapter 6: Peace.Life – Jesse Smith
- April 3 – Chapter 7: Wisdom.Life – Jared Massey
- April 4 – Chapter 8: Church.Life – Tim Shiels
- April 5 – Chpater 9: Committed.Life – Chris Lema
- April 6 – Chapter 10: Sex.Life – Henry Zonio
- April 7 – Chpater 11: Vocation.Life – Helen Lee
- April 8 – Chapter 12: Eternity.Life – Christiaan VandenHuevel
- April 9 – Chapter 13: God.Is.Love.Life – Henry Zonio
- April 10 – Chapter 14: Cross.Life.Ressurection.Life – Barbara Graves