by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Summary: The church is at the edge of society. We need to accept it and redefine church as small groups of people living life deeply together with a purpose to spread the gospel. Our main thing needs to be small groups sharing life and mission together instead of Sunday morning.
“We have a loose connection with Christians on Sunday but then largely we go back to living our everyday lives on our own.”
True Biblical rebuke and correction can only happen when people share everyday life together.
“The church leader is someone who is sacrificed from the front life to equip everyone else for the front line. “
Law says “You Should…” Gospel says “You need not…”
“We need truths we already know pushed down into the everyday realities of our lives.”
“Many Christians function as if the church is a meeting…an entity with structures such as constitutions, ministers, elders, committees and so on.”
Ministry is something done by ordinary Christians with the support of pastors.
An interesting section on how to speak gospel ideas into everyday conversations.
“A good church is a church in which the believers share their lives together as an alternative and authentic society.”
“This is what we are all about: just hanging out, doing nothing spectacular, but with gospel intentionality.”
“If the bulk of a church’s time and energy goes into the Sunday meeting, then everyday church will not happen.”
Some of their suggestions for how to do everyday mission sound like it is only for super social outgoing people. They say you should eat meals with other people as much as possible, walk places and be a regular at certain stores so you can strike up conversations with strangers and you should be exciting not boring. “You will never attract people to Jesus if you are not excited about Jesus.” “Our job is to have fun to the glory of God!”
In their conclusion they say groups of believers living together on mission must be more important than Sunday mornings for it to work. But then they suggest you could keep the current model of church and just add some small gospel community groups to it. Which one is it?
Overall a good book. They ran out of steam a couple of places, but most of it is useful. It goes over the standard missional church story but doesn’t spend too long on it. There is lots of practical advice and examples. If you have no idea what missional church is or are confused by it like most people, this is a good book to read.