Book Review: Thin Places
Is your youth ministry missional? Are you looking for a resource to push your community to reach their community?
Three weeks ago, House Studio sent me an awesome package of goodies (I will review a book a week until the resources run out). I have never seen this book, and I was a little skeptical at first about a book until I saw on the back that Michael Frost was recommending the book! With all that said, House Studio, has published a great book. Here is the review!
If there is one book to get your ministry ready for fall, this is the book. In the preface the author, Jon Huckins, states the community that he lives in called Nieu Communities and here are the core goals and it really sets up the missional mandate in the book:
1. Live within a ten-minute walking distance from each other
2. Regularly share common meals and everyday life
3. Regularly gather for worship and prayer
4. Are committed to live on mission in the local halfway homes, community centers, sports fields, farmer’s markets, refugee populations, and so on.
5. Regularly participate in intentional times of mentoring and coaching.
I love how Nieu Communities are intentional about mission in their neighbourhoods. And Jon Huckins does a great job in this book describing a missional community. He also does a great job explaining how intentional his community is about being missional.
The author breaks the chapters into 6 sections: Listening, Submerging, Inviting, Contending, Imagining, and Entrusting. My favourite chapter was submerging, and it made me question how is my youth ministry missional? It also pushed me to think about how my leaders, and student leaders were submerging into the community, and not just attracting people to our community. My favourite quote from the chapter shows the tension between attractional and missional models, “Attractional models pour time and resources into their worship services so as to create a place to which non-believers will want to come and be exposed to the reality of Jesus…In contrast, the missional church embraces the mission of God and God’s extension into humanity by moving outside the traditional church walls and into the lives of individual non-believers with the hope of introducing them to Jesus in the local context, As such, the focus is not on a central worship gathering, but on equipping believers who are sent to be good news to their neighbours, coworkers, and families.” This chapter made me think how missional is my youth ministry? It is easier to create a atrractional community, instead of a missional community.
I really enjoyed this book, and Jon Huckins did a fantastic job. I loved how he broke the chapters into 6 sections, and at the end of each chapter would share what missional communities were doing. I also thought the discussion questions were thoughtful and would be perfect for my adult leaders. This coming year I want my adult leader to be more missional in the youth culture in my city. Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community is a great book to motivate my leaders to be more missional.
I wish this book had more downloadable resources, and that the videos packaged with the dvd were on youtube. This would be a great online training resource for the summer leading up to the fall.