Do you fit into church? Do you connect with God, but somehow don’t feel comfortable around other believers? I just spoke to a young man who knew the Bible very well, however, he didn’t see his place in church. He was connected with God, yet didn’t want to fellowship with God’s children. I wish I had this book on me to give to him, because I believe it would’ve given him a fresh perspective on being the church rather than just going to church. Thankfully, I have read this and can give my own perspective from what I have learned.
Pastor Kymone Hinds brings a great perspective on what the church really is in this book. While some may confuse the church with a place that we go to, it is truly mistaken identity. Someone once said “If church is a place you go to, it is a place you will leave.” Pastor Hinds opens up our minds to understand the true value of being the church. This book points us in the direction of our purpose and identity. Pastor Hinds states, “We are joined together in relationship with one another and are called a body by God Himself.” Those that might feel disconnected and discouraged will see what their role is and why it is necessary to be fueled and directed by the Holy Spirit. It is God’s Spirit that gives us power to succeed as the body of Christ. The church is about the gospel and the gospel simply is: God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT. If people are connected to God then they are connected to the church. The church is all about building connection and this reading connects the dots for those who may not understand how to fuse the reality of life and the reality of church.
Pastor Hinds uses graphs, stories, illustrations and questions after each chapter to teach a clear lesson about being the church. This reading is simple with deep concepts to cause the reader to reevaluate what they have understood about the church and its role in society. Pastor Hinds is revealing only what has been right there in front of us all these years. The mission of our church is to connect the world to Jesus and the kingdom. The church is to go into the world yet still be separate from the world. Love the world, however, hate the world. The tension that exist within us is real, yet through God we are taught how to strike a balance with being in the world but not of the world. The church is saved and sent to save. Pastor Hinds shares this profound statement when he writes:
If the church is not a building and not an event, then winning cannot simply be tied to improving buildings and increasing attendance at an event. Winning has to be something else and I believe the Bible challenges us to something more. Maybe we need to shift away from seeing winning as being about the church and seeing it as being about the kingdom of God. The role of the church, every local church, is to advance the kingdom of God.
Because of this concept, I as a pastor am determined to fill up the kingdom, make an impact in people’s lives not just for numbers sake, however, for the kingdom’s sake. Filling up the kingdom with all kinds of people from all backgrounds, beliefs and walks of life is a great goal to have when we are the church. The gift of salvation should be shared with all who breathe and have their being. I encourage anyone to share this book as it relates the gospel of Jesus and where everyone fits into to the church model. I am pleased to present to you Pastor Kymone Hinds and his message to the church to be the church because This Is Church.
Philip M. Wesley II is the pastor of the Emmanuel church in Providence, Rhode Island, and Mt. Olive Church in New London, Connecticut