a few questions…

Does a community have to say it’s Christian to be Christian?  If it’s gathering together, ‘being community’ and ‘doing life’, does it need ‘set pieces’ which declare a particular message or not?

What would that ‘message’ need to be, if the answer is yes?

If community members are intentionally living Christian lives, does this provide the ‘message’ that others might want to explore without words being used?

Been thinking about this a lot recently in context of the parklife project that we’re becoming part of (gradually!).

What d’ya thunk?


7 thoughts on “a few questions…

  1. great questions
    but the answers you are looking for are as follows:
    No, No, N/A, Yes

    but seriously,
    Every choice we make in the way we live plays out a message, it is a simple as that.
    I guess for me the issue is, if I am trying to do things so people get a message, I am probably missing the point (and this is as true for religion as it is the way I might choose to furnish my house). The focus should be on working out how to be God’d people and getting on with it (in an honest authentic and genuine way), rather than thinking (not that we do) of how to adopt a set of behaviours, say some things and by doing so know we have succeeded because someone bought the message.

    1. See, I think that this is what I was groping my way towards on Monday night…

      If we get together on at least a weekly basis to ‘break bread’ – or pizza, or whatever – and share life…whoever, wherever in the journey they are…then to my mind this is ‘church’. For those of us already convinced of the compelling Jesus story, then we know that we’re communing. Those who aren’t – well, they’re doing community. We might speak of ‘spiritual’ things – in fact we will, as, after all, everything is spiritual – but fundamentally we’re intentionally being a community of hope.

      Explicitly Jesus focused conversations will undoubtedly happen – but in a natural, authentic, unforced kind of way. Our ‘Alpha’ doesn’t need the talky bit to make the point…!

      1. OK, I think this might actually be a blog posts worth coming up, but here goes (and this is really from Roxburgh’s book Missional)

        For me, the question is something like: is God calling us to enter into the neighbourhoods where we live? If we discern this to be God’s plan for is, and if we enter into life with the people we live among, then our call is to do just that. Live among them. Listening to and entering into their stories, allowing them to entering to ours, loving them deeply. And doing this without ever needing to make a sales pitch to them, assuming we know what is they actually need and even worse, assuming what the gospel should look like for them in the shared time and space.
        We have to move away from starting / living / naming what we are doing based on prearranged designs and assumptions of what church should like.
        Somehow though, we need to entering into our neighbourhood without casting aside our traditions and rich heritage, but we need to be able to move outside of them, and recognise that we can see God, and be God’s people in all sorts of other ways and places.

      2. That’s the one. Thanks Tobit.

        I guess the problem is that tradition/rich heritage are often too restraining for us to move beyond them. Having said that, both you and I show that it is indeed possible (in a humble way, of course!)

  2. From my point of view, there is great strength in the building of mixed community with people at all stages of their journey with Jesus; but it’s important that we have the conversations that will help us all grow in faith.

    We don’t do things so people get a message, but we must still be vocal about that message.

    I guess you’ve said that, but not very explicitly.

    1. I guess the interesting thing to explore is how that conversation emerges and evolves.

      I’ve read some really interesting stuff recently about the idea of allowing yourself to be evangelised by the other, thus learning much more about your faith from the dialogue, rather than presuming that we already have all the answers.

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