Ed: Why a book on Church in Life?
Michael: We hear much today about disciples making disciples and about Christians living out their faith in everyday life. But gather-and-scatter church makes this difficult.
We gather for worship and scatter as individuals for the rest of the week. Having worshipped, we practice our faith largely on our own—at work, in our hobbies and interests, and among friends who don’t attend church. And it is not always easy to be a Christian witness on your own.
A large company made a substantial number of people redundant. A group of Christians paid for a consultant to give free advice to each person losing their job. (Colleagues said, “These Christians are better than our HR department!”). This would have been very difficult for a Christian to arrange alone.
Time and again, missional discipleship requires that Christians be organised. Church in Life is about innovative ways for Christians to get organised to change their worlds.
Ed: So what’s the secret?
Michael: A new missional movement is emerging in the U.K., elsewhere in Europe, in parts of the United States and Canada, in Australia, and now Africa.
Christians get together in small groups, listen to people who don’t go to church, find simple ways to love and serve them, build relationships with them, share the gospel sensitively, help them to become a Christian community right where they are, and then encourage them to repeat the process in their own way.
A growing number of these communities are emerging in gyms and cafes around interests ranging from surfing to making cards, in old apartment blocks and new neighborhoods, among young and older people, and among poor people and the more affluent.
What’s fascinating is that, increasingly, these new communities are part of the mainline churches. New and existing forms of church live alongside each other.
Some people call these communities ‘fresh expressions of church’, a term coined in the U.K. For me, they are just new Christian communities in everyday life.
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Source: Christianity Today