Building on an understanding of the local congregation as the primary location of mission, ‘As a fire by burning …’ seeks to explore the relationship between the day-to-day life of local churches and contemporary thinking about mission.
Drawing on the first-hand experience of those engaged in mission in a wide variety of different contexts in contemporary Britain, the component parts of church life are explored. What is the relationship between worship and mission? If mission is more than just evangelism, and disciple making is a life-long task, how can this be sustained over the long term? Much has been made of collaborative partnerships in delivering mission objectives, but what are their theological and practical implications for non-Christian civic and voluntary bodies? A number of these rarely addressed themes are explored, revealing critical issues that are rarely addressed, but that can have significant implications if neglected or misunderstood.
Rather than relying on a ‘one size fits all’, off-the-shelf approach to mission, ‘As a fire by burning …’ encourages a level of engagement with context, Scripture, prayer and theology that will help to empower a local congregation to discern and shape its own missional life.
It’s hard to read this rich book without being forcibly reminded that the great privilege of the church is to be included in God’s mission for his world. Through church case studies, Biblical and theological reflection, it offers the stark reminder that if leaders and people together do not embrace this call to be missional disciples, we will have failed in our central calling to be the people of God for the sake of the world. Mission is not the leisure activity of the few, it’s the core identity of the whole people of God. This book enriches our imagination as we embrace this calling.-- Neil Hudson, Director of the LICC Imagine Project
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