The other side of my last post is that there are, of course, some large ‘hub churches’ who could be very significant players in the ‘re-evangelisation’ of the UK. By that, I mean the massive Good News of the Kingdom being tangible everywhere, not thinking about evangelistic scalp hunting, but full Kingdom potential.
The Celtic Church, and indeed the historical Anglo-Saxon Church in these lands, shows us the ‘minster’ model of church. The minster was a centre of prayer and community, but also a place of education, commerce, protection, resourcing society and of evangelistic/mission endeavour. Places like Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island were sources for the planting of the type of stuff I was blogging about yesterday. They were apostolic sending centres.
Our large churches, and I include the one I currently lead, will only be really successful if they are making disciples and then sending them out on mission. It is a challenge for these churches in Christendom ‘attract’ model churches to break from being churches with a death sentence over their heads to be a part of the new apostolic movement needed.
This, again, is costly. It means that the cost of continually being a sending church must be counted over and against building a local empire and a comfortable Jesus Country Club. To be a generative source of apostolic life is a big transition, but it can be done. Churches like Holy Trinity Brompton, St Thomas Crookes and St Thomas Philadelpia are creative examples. Ray Simpson, founder of the Community of Aidan and Hilda, talks about this idea further when he talks of large churches creating ‘villages of God’. Worth looking at for larger churches. But as I say, the best way for each community to have a vibrant expression of Christian life available to it is to stop the expense and clutter of running churches in these places and adopt a strategy like I outlines in the last post.
What strikes me is that so many people agree with this kind of stuff, but we ALL need the courage to act and consider what it means for us where we are. I warmly encourage you.