Saturday, April 22, 2006

You Have To Change To Stay The Same

When my parents went to the Philippines as missionaries in the 70’s, they would be asked by students, “Is that Christian, or British – because if it is British, we don’t want it.” They wanted to follow Jesus, but they wanted to do so in an authentically Filipino way: their culture being redeemed, rather than someone else’s culture being imposed. A generation-plus on, back in the UK – but a very different UK from the one my parents left – I find myself asking, essentially, the same question: “Is ‘x’ a part of what it means to follow Jesus, or is it merely someone else’s cultural form of following Jesus? In particular, is this a Modern interpretation of how the church should look – because if it is, I don’t want it: it is increasingly inauthentic for both me myself and those whom I would invite to be with Jesus with me (which, in turn, would make my invitation inauthentic, evidently not ringing-true). The following three posts explore this a little, specifically in relation to worship, Bible study, and sermons…


  1. excellent posts. my question though is where next? particularly with regards tobig church, it's quite easy to re-contextualise in household and family scales but doing it with 150 plus people is very tough.

  2. Yes, in this regard I think those who have abandoned 'big church' altogether certainly have it easier...and yet I still believe there is a place for 'big church'. Where next? is the question.

  3. One possible 'where next?' for 'big church' would be the festival approach, where connected clans come together, perhaps each hosting a space, and you get to move around and see what God is doing in the places those people you are related-to but don't live with are, what he is showing them at the moment...