I’d like to thank Christian Focus for giving me a copy of What’s the Point of Life? by Mez McConnell in return for my honest review, as well as a copy for the giveaway.
Mez McConnell is the pastor of Niddrie Community Church outside Edinburgh, Scotland. Once a missionary to street kids in Brazil, he is now also the director of 20schemes, an organization that works to plant gospel-centered churches in some of Scotland’s poorest communities. Mez McConnell is married with two kids.
His story is a harrowing one. Abandoned by his mother, dragged through foster care, and mercilessly beaten and abused by his father’s girlfriend, Mez McConnell grew up in poverty and shame. The young McConnell turned to suicidal thoughts, drugs, criminal behavior, infidelity and abortion…..
“The Christians” met Mez McConnell at a football (soccer) game in the street and shared Christ while playing. When Mez McConnell (now a young adult) got into a fight at a nightclub, the Christians visited him in prison—250 miles away. When he was released, he stayed with one of the Christians, Matt.
Through the testimony and hard work of “the Christians”, Mez McConnell came to Christ and became a missionary in Brazil. Back home in the UK eight years later, his radically altered life had an impact on those who had known him before. Mez McConnell works with poor and abused street youth, and his children testify to being raised in a Christian family, an amazing testimony to the transforming work of Christ.
What’s the Point of Life? by Mez McConnell (CF4K, 2014) is a 22-page, glossy testimony with a strong gospel message at the end. The story is rough and full of details, including photos of some potentially frightening images. (I struggled a little with the heroin spoon and syringe, pictured above). Given the length and depth of the story, coupled with the price, I would call What’s the Point of Life? an extremely well-done tract. At under $2, this is a tract that can be handed out to struggling youth.
My boys are just 10 and 12 at the moment, and though we have begun to explore some deeper historical issues, it will be at least a couple of years until I feel comfortable sharing Pastor McConnell’s raw story with them. On the other hand, our older two children (who are now adults)came from a very rough background to live with us at the ages of 8 and 10, and this booklet would have been a welcome resource at the same ages. I think it has a good deal of value as an evangelical tool.
For a longer autobiographical version of Mez McConnell’s story, you may wish to check out Christian Focus’ 144 page Is There Anybody Out There? – Second Edition: A Journey from Despair to Hope. I haven’t read the biography, but it has very high (5 star!) reviews on Amazon. It was also compared to A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer in the back cover copy. So… you may want to preview it before handing it to your student. I always love Christian Focus books, but I think parents know their children best.
Enter to win a copy of What’s the Point of Life? Giveaway ends on 2/13/2015 at 10am PST.
You can find What’s the Point of Life? at
Other books for older students reviewed on Thinking Kids:
- God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby
- Water the Earth: A Student’s Guide to Missions by Aaron Little
- Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology by Brian Cosby
- Bitesize Theology: An ABC of Christian Faith by Peter Jeffrey
- Questions God Asks by Israel Wayne
- Grace Works! (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t) by Douglas Bond
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Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.