March 9, 2009

a good weekend...

We had a great weekend hanging out with some wonderful friends. Mike, Chris, Kevin and Steve–whom we've been tracking with for years now–were all in town. On Saturday, Dan, Matt, Lace, and others came over to talk about Mike's book, What Is Church? and what is means to be covenant communities today. We had a good discussion but most importantly I was reminded of just how many wonderful people I am surrounded by. The same thing happened last night, when the Hawthorn House met. We took time catching up with everyone and all the good things going on around us. James' dream of WikiChoice is taking off. Em talked about Bake It Forward spreading. Dorcas' House is doing well... good stuff.

I also started reading Mike's book. I had the privilege of reading parts of his manuscript but it is fun to actually begin flipping through the pages in print. I am biased–he is a friend of mine–but I have to say it is an easy–to–read, straight forward book. The book does a great job of cutting through the tired scripts and, as Mike outlines, it talks honestly about:

- What is church?
- What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?
- What is the gospel Jesus preached?
- What does it mean to be authentically spiritual?
- What does it mean to be a leader in Jesus church?

I have often struggled referring books by N.T. Wright, Dallas Willard and others to people simply because most working class folks don't have time to go through something so dense. One of my frustrations over the years, which I believe I share with Mike, is that we have made Christianity terribly difficult to approach–chastising those who question things. But I think I might have found a good substitute for those recommendations in What Is Church? Mike isn't trying to score points, he wrote this book not for the convinced or the academic. He wrote it for the rest of us: "This is plain and simple not a book for entrepeneurs, but for people of no reputation."

'Nuff said. Pick it up.

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