What is your favorite kind of salad? Simple with iceberg lettuce smothered in ranch dressing? A basic garden salad with tomato slices, cucumbers, and carrots added? Or lots of ingredients like some kale, argula, spinach, cabbage, onions, cheese, croutons, and a little vinaigrette drizzled over the top to bring out each of the flavors?
“Church is like a salad,” declares Scot McKnight, one of my favorite authors. Many of our churches are rather plain iceberg lettuce salads, but church was meant to be a unity of a variety of ingredients, worshipping and living life together. Is your church a mixed salad, a fellowship of differents? Variety of genders and marital statuses and ages? Variety of socioeconomic groups, races, and cultures? Variety of music and artistic styles and forms of communication?
Scot McKnight says we should be going to church in our own neighborhoods. If I were to go to the church nearest me, I would walk across the street. I suspect it would be just as much of a plain salad as the one we travel 8 miles to attend, if not even more so, at least theologically, based on the denomination and my observations of people in the parking lot. It’s kind of how people in the suburbs live their lives in the Midwest and South. I likely would not find a socio-economically or racially diverse church unless I went downtown.
In his book A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together, Scot McKnight shows the importance of church and what it is meant to be with true community in diversity. Church shapes how we understand the Christian life. Too often, we prefer our own way – people just like us who like the same style of music and hold the exact same theology and political leaning. But we miss out on so much when we stay in our comfortable zone!
Love is the center of the whole Christian life – love for God and love for others. Liberals and conservatives, poor and rich, widows and singles and marrieds, Latinos and whites and blacks, men and women, elderly and children – when we leave life together, worship together, love each other, life gets a little bigger and a little fuller, and we live the unity that Jesus prayed that we as His followers would have. Scot McKnight shows us how this is possible and why it is so important. I highly recommend this book.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan Publishing in exchange for my honest review.