You found me he said

Jamie Hoskins  finds Jesus on a bench.

Hi, welcome to our virtual coffee shop. Pull up a chair, take the load of your feet. Let’s chat.
Sounds like fun. So. how are you doing? Oh wait. that won’t work. on to your questions.

So who are you, where you from, what do you do in life?
My name is Jamie Hoskins and I’m from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. It’s a small city about 100 Km from Vancouver and the west coast of Canada. I am a guy who likes to have his hands in everything so it’s tough for me to really nail down what it is that I do. A short list would be:

– I spend lots of time writing on my blog
– I work full time as an employment counsellor and professional group facilitator
– I help my wife run her photography business called Icon Photography
– I pastor a small church of about 15-20 people at my house called the Thursday Group. We didn’t pick the name it just happened. I wanted something cooler like X-treme LMNT Re:volution or something like that but the Thursday Group Community thing stuck 🙂
– I am currently working on writing a few different books, but all of them are still in that “bits and pieces” stage but maybe one day I will be a “real” writer.

Can I get you a drink? Cappucino, earl grey, dandelion and burdock, pale ale?
Sure! I’ll take a double shot, long pour latte steamed to about 170 degrees with a heaping teaspoon of plain old white sugar. in a paper cup because I like to drink slowly and will probably end up taking it with me.

Would you like a doughnut or pastry to go with that?
Yeah, why not. I’ll have an apple fritter of something, just don’t tell my wife! 🙂

So, if you had to describe the church/project/experiment/thingy you are currently involved with in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
We are loving, growing, and vibrant community of believers (and seekers) that are trying to bring faith, hope, love, and purpose back to a generation that is falling apart from spiritual and relational neglect. Or something like that.

Are you an instigator? / new recruit? / have absolutely no recollection of how you got involved?
I’m the instigator. Always have been. For some reason God gave me an overwhelming passion for starting up new faith communities and talking with people about Jesus.

What do you value most about being part of it?
I really value the fact that I am loved. I’ve gone to a bunch of churches where I get to know people, but I never really make close friends. It always stays at this surface level and never really goes any deeper. The people at the Thursday Group are so much more than that to me. They are becoming like my family. I really love these guys.

What excites you most about it?
The most exciting thing is seeing everyone in the group grow and mature in their faith. I love it when new people come into relationship with Jesus or someone who is in a hard-core struggle with God turns around and comes back to him. This group has really helped a lot of people grow past their issues and into a new freedom with Christ and other believers. It’s so cool to watch!

Has anyone ever turned up out of the blue not knowing what to expect?
What did they say?

Yep! It’s always really funny. The reactions usually come from either seekers who have never been to church before or from believers who have never experienced simple church. The main reaction from the seekers is that what we do isn’t what they expected church to look like. They often have a picture of Ned Flanders from the Simpson and suits and ties and organs, and then they get to our place and see everyone having supper together and chilling out all over the living room like at a party. it messes them up. The church people who come either really love it and want to keep coming or they say that our structure is too chaotic and that we aren’t “churchy” enough.

Three words that describe your attitude to ‘being church’ in the big wide world: Transparency (Authenticity), Love, and Service That’s four, but the first two mean the same thing to me.

Three words that DON’T:
Pride, Hate, Isolation

You have this weird dream – you meet Jesus face to face.
Where does it happen, what does he say to you?

I’ve had dreams like this twice. In the first one I met Jesus in a big field and I kept trying to ask him deep theological questions and get answers from him but he just kept laughing and told me that I needed to relax and just enjoy spending time with him. He told me not to stress out about things and to learn how to have fun. Then we ran around and played like little kids. In the second dream I was in a dirty and broken city and I saw this homeless guy on a bench I went over to him and said “Jesus?” and then he looked at me and I knew it was him. He said “you found me!” His eyes knocked me onto my back and I died, and then we both flew up into heaven. It was pretty weird.

What’s the big secret you’re itching to share with everyone?
Learn to love one another and learn to love God. But the real secret is that loving one another helps you to love God. Love covers a multitude of sins and by loving your neighbour you are showing your love for God. This is a huge key that most people forget about. Christianity is pretty easy when your whole focus is on loving your neighbour and loving Jesus. It’s not easy to do, but it makes Christianity easier.

What would your ’emerging church survival kit’ contain?
A million sets of clothes because the emerging thing doesn’t look the same for everyone. What God is telling me to live out is completely different from what he is telling you to live out. We are all made with a plan in mind and each plan is as different as person who has one. In the EC we need to be flexible and adaptable and we need to be willing to change when God tells us that we need to.

Anything else you’d like to share with us before you have to rush off?
Just that it great getting to chat with everyone and would love to get to know some of you more. Stop by my blog and drop me an email. I love getting to meet new people from all over the world.

Thanks. Good to see you. Have a good day!
It was cool hanging out with you!