Author Spotlight: Terence Schilstra
We are pleased to introduce Terence Schilstra. Terence has recently published Peace of the City with us, which is now available for order through the Word Alive Press Bookstore, and everywhere fine Christian books are sold. We asked Terence to share a little bit about his writing, and new book. But first, a little bit about him.
Terence Schilstra is a missional community leader at The Table, serving among the urban poor in downtown Thorold, Ontario where he lives with his beautiful wife Karen and their four children. He has been involved in church planting and missional communities in various capacities for more than a decade. His passion and calling are to cultivate the imagination of the church towards faith and missional engagement in their neighbourhoods. Terence is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. He has a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Tyndale Seminary’s Church in the City program, which forms missional leaders for urban ministry in the twenty-first century.
Terence is also an entrepreneur. He and his wife own and operate a small aerial lift rental company. Before he went into co-vocational ministry, Terence worked as an overhead crane technician for fifteen years, serving the industrial sector throughout North America. This high-risk work earned him a plush six-figure salary and a corporate vehicle. Terence and his family had a comfortable lifestyle and home in one of the wealthiest suburbs in their city—that is, until they received a divine call to give it all up to live and serve among the urban poor in their city.
One of Terence’s great passions has been engaging multivariate levels of poverty in his context. The Table in downtown Thorold is situated in a neighbourhood where one in four kids live in poverty, living without suitable food, housing, and clothing. The Table seeks to engage those realities of poverty as they live on mission in their city.
Terence also serves as co-chair of the One Thorold movement, which works towards the ongoing positive transformation of their city. One Thorold seeks to cultivate the art of neighbouring within neighbourhood hub structures. Further, One Thorold works with local partners and government with a view to provide housing for the homeless and the precariously housed in the downtown core.
All the profits of Terence Schilstra’s book, Peace of the City: A Handbook for Missional Communities, will go directly towards the ministry of The Table and the ongoing positive transformation of Downtown Thorold.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
A: My hope is the book will inspire readers to live on mission in the name of Jesus in their neighbourhoods. Practically speaking, my prayer is that readers will cultivate rhythms of intentional missional practice in their context, particularly through practices that engage and cultivate relationships with the immediate neighbours God has placed in our lives, workplace, and social orbit.
Q: Where did you get your information or ideas for the book?
A: The ideas for the book emerged over time as I read and studied Scripture alongside the life and writing of Benedict of Nursia and Francis of Asisi. The Benedictine and Franciscan missional communities continue to be a huge inspiration to me, particularly the ways in which they lived so intentionally in the crucible of community.
Q: Who is the intended audience of the book?
A: The intended audience for the book is any Christian, pastor, church, missional community, or small group with a desire to live on mission in their neighbourhood in the name of Jesus. The book makes a great resource or study for small groups, individuals, or church leadership teams.
About this Contributor:
Terence Schilstra is a missional community leader at The Table, serving among the urban poor in downtown Thorold, Ontario where he lives with his beautiful wife and four children. He is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church with a M.Div. from Tyndale Seminary Church-in-the-City program, which forms missional leaders for urban ministry in the twenty-first century.
Visit his website, peaceofthecity.ca.