Book Review: Thin Places
Authors: Jon Huckins w/ Rob Yackley
Published by: The House Studio
I purchased this book because I’m interested in intentional Christian communities. I read it and I come away with the feeling of… hmmm… okay. I think this is good. No, I think this is great and here’s why. Thin Places is not selling hype, glitz, glam or gimmick. What the NieuCommunities is sharing in their Thin Places experience is real life, everyday life, plain old life… that is, as plain as living life under the authority and mission of the Almighty God of all Creation can be.
The book is about community and I learned about community from it, but it is not about the “nuts and bolts” of establishing or managing an intentional community. There is some of that, but more, the book is about attitude of mind and heart. The sub-title of the book reveals this attitude in these words; “6 Postures for Creating & Practicing Missional Community.” The introduction of the book does well to establish the tone and the pace for the chapters that follow with these words:
Cloaked in the covering of covenant community, we pilgrimage through each of the following posture as learners and practitioners:
Listening: We desire to be attuned to God, to self, and to our neighborhood.
Submerging: We desire to embody Jesus in our neighborhood while participating in an apprenticing community.
Inviting: We desire to grasp the depth of God’s invitation to kingdom life and to become more inviting and invited people while welcoming our neighbors into God’s redemptive story.
Contending: We desire to confront the things that hinder the full expression of the kingdom of God, both spiritual and natural, in our community, among our friends and neighbors, and in our city.
Imagining: We desire to discern God’s intent on our lives and help shape transformational faith communities.
Entrusting: We desire to entrust people to God and to others, celebrate our deeper understanding of God’ call on our lives, and lean confidently into our future. (p.28)
This is Thin Places. The remainder of the book walks the reader in a contemplative, yet practical, example of what it means to live in this nieu-monastic posture of “life intertwined” as emissaries of Christ in the heart of the neighborhood/community in which he draws and plants you. I found Thin Places a practical, real, and beautiful story. It is the story I’m pursuing for my own life and hope to find a group of people committed to living out this everyday way of faith.
I loved the ending words from the back cover of the book and find them appropriate to conclude this review; “Through Thin Places, create a fertile soil to commune with God, live in deep community with others, and extend the good news of the kingdom in your local contexts.” Yes. Thin Places might awaken you to do exactly that.