One.Life — A Reflection

One.Life — A Reflection January 20, 2011

This has been a wonderful two weeks for One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow. The book appeared almost mid December, and it’s now starting to kick in with some readers, and I want to offer a reflective piece about what’s happening.

Pastors are reading it, benefiting from it and “using” it in their ministries. Just today I got a note from a pastor who will be using it in some small groups but said he’s passing it out like candy. Another pastor told me she’s giving it to everyone on her staff. Last week a pastor told me he had bought copies for anyone who showed up to church on a given Sunday. Another pastor wrote me to say thanks and said it was his favorite of my books.

But what was perhaps most moving to me was the 65 year old pastor who wrote me to say that the book had given him a new vision for the last decade of his ministry — he said “if God so wills” — and that it had given him themes for this year in preaching. But he also said it was making a difference in his life. Sometimes it’s the simplest of themes — Jesus wants our one and only life — that dig into our deepest yearnings.

These letters and observations strengthen my resolve to be the sort of professor who walks the bridge from the academy to the church on a constant basis. In some ways this book is the result of 27 years of teaching students in academic settings, but in other ways it’s the result of speaking in churches and listening to the heartbeat of lay folks and pastors.

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  • Jeff Q

    One.Life has certainly challenged me. I donated to the Walk4Water ministry last week and plan to go on my church’s mission trip to Mexico this year.

    The “kingdom” is not inside me. It’s all around me.

    Thank you.

  • Phil N


    I second that, I picked it up this week and find in it another great resource for missional church planting for my team. Especially for myself, to not only go out there missionally (in the local community), but to give God this one life and see what he can do with it. I’m a third through it presently.

  • Drew Strait

    This is encouraging, Scot. I think you have given many of us a dynamic example for what it means to walk down that narrow bridge to the church. Looking forward to getting a copy of One.Life when we return.

  • It’s always a good thing to hear positive testimonies about how God uses what we give him for his glory and for the good of others. I trust the book will continue to make a difference in people’s lives.

  • Susan N.

    Having read more than half the book so far, I’ve gained a clearer “hindsight” perspective on my own faith journey, and inspiration for the Way forward. At the same time, I see great value for young people (teens and college-age)to be gleaned from One.Life. The thought, “If I’d only known then what I know now” (and is articulated so well in One.Life), keeps recurring in my mind as I read further. I want my teen daughter to read it. Pondering whether to read/discuss together, suggest to her youth group as a book study…form a group of younger and older to discuss the book together???

  • Clay Knick

    I think it is a great book, Scot. Loved it. I bought a copy for our part-time youth director and gave it to him for Christmas. And I’ve put a note in our Feb. church newsletter about it and have posted about it on FB. Very, very good book. Thanks for the hard work.

  • Aaron

    I am about 5/6 of the way through it. Many of the things that you discuss in the book are things that I have painfully discussed with my Sr. Pastor. I think he will be open to reading this book and open to the discussion (I hope). He is a big Hybel fan so I think that will be a nice bridge for him.

    I wonder how well he really knows about Bill Hybel’s theology and not just his leadership skills??? Same goes for Rick Warren as well.

    Thanks and I can’t wait to finish ONE.LIFE.

  • My 16 year old son and I have gotten through chapter one. Our last discussion lasted about three hours — so many foundational things to get set up early in the book.

    I am grateful, as I said before, for this book’s opportunity with our young people.

    I’ll keep you informed on our progress….

  • Great work, Scot. I feel the gospel is spreading . . . to the church!

  • Ordered the book after a mentor of mine, Jim Martin, recommended it. I like the choice of quotes from contemporary students and ministers. The Imagined.Life chapter is the most energizing and succinct pieces I’ve read in a long time. Thank you.

  • Stephen Mook

    Praise the Lord…

  • Scot McKnight

    Folks, I’m so grateful to you and to God for this kind response to the book. Peggy, that’s special to me: because I wanted this book to be the sort of book that can be a bridge-builder of parents and young adults.

  • Georges Boujakly

    My four daughter will be receiving it soon.

  • Do keep listening, Scot. You ARE–by God’s grace–making a difference!

  • Terry

    Scot, you already know that this pastor has been, and remains thankful for you and your voice. The Lord has used you in a significant way in the past years during a time of great upheaval. I’ve read One.Life twice and am so blessed for your effort here. Like Jesus Creed before it, we’ve sold and given away many, many copies. We praise Him!

  • My copy is stuck in limbo since I unwittingly ordered it with one of Deb’s books which was a preorder. I well would have ordered a book I want, but have already read-Surprised by Hope- N.T. Wright- and got this in town with a coupon (cheapskate that I am). Oh well March will be here soon.

  • Stafford

    Scot, this is a fantastic book! I heard you teach at Briercrest College a couple years ago, listened to those lectures many times and jumped on this book as soon as I could. What a fantastic read! This will be promoted throughout our church for those looking for a ‘different'(albeit, not new), well articulated understanding of Christianity and Kingdom life. Press on, your hard work is appreciated by so many!