Monday, 14 February 2011

Total Church

I've heard a lot about the book 'Total Church' by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester, but until now I've never actually got round to reading it.

From what I've heard, I've always expected it to be a book that I love. So far, I'm not disappointed!

I thought I'd share a quote about mission being for the whole of life - something that I'm often trying to say (and doing so badly), and trying to live (and doing so even more badly!).

We sometimes ask people to imagine they are part of a church planting team in a cross-cultural situation in some other part of the world:

- What criteria would you use to decide where you live?
- How would you approach secular employment?
- What standard of living would you expect as pioneer missionaries?
- What would you spend your time doing?
- What opportunities would you be looking for?
- What would your prayers be like?
- What would you be trying to do with new friends?
- What kind of team would you want around you?
- How would you conduct your meetings together?

Of course, as they argue in this chapter, each of us are called to be missionaries in the context that God has placed us. As such, these should be questions that we ask of ourselves where ever we live. They go on:

If someone was being sent as a missionary to a hostile context overseas, our attitude would be something like this: We would expect to pray often for them. We would expect progress in building relationships and sharing the gospel to be slow. We would be excited by small steps - a gospel conversation here, an opportunity to get to know someone there. We would thrive on regular updates from the front line. But the truth is that the lives of many Christians in work, and play, are just like the life of that far-flung missionary! They are lived out in tough environments where progress is often slow and many factors make evangelism extremely difficult. The challenge is to make news from the staff canteen as valued as news from the overseas mission field.

Exciting stuff!

1 comment:

michael said...

I quote this section of the book fairly often. Mint!