Things I liked about Total Church


I read Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ whilst in Suffolk. Chester and Timmis make a compelling argument for far more cross cultural mission to the working class, benefit class and unskilled immigrant population of inner city Britain. They paint a bleak picture of a largely ghettoised middle-class church in Britain from their perspective of church planting in inner city Sheffield.

Much of what they write strikes a chord with the way I’ve seen things from Blakenhall. Themes I found helpful included:

  1. The gospel of substitutionary atonement and gospel community are as inseparable as fire from burning, they are inextricably connected.
  2. British churches are largely middle class ghettos which have failed to reach the working class and by doing so have emptied the cross of its power.
  3. The smaller the church group the greater the relational cohesion between, and mission effectiveness of, its members.
  4. Event driven churches are passée and ineffective, much more energy should be invested in teaching the bible relationally, that is 1-2-1 and in small groups.
  5. 1000 teenagers leave the church in the UK every week. Our youth need small group bible study in a setting where they mix with a few godly role models who care for them and provide a stepping stone into grown up church.

If you would like an overview, Michael Jensen has written a review of Total Church and I’ll blog a bit on things I liked in the days ahead…

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