What happens when evangelical Christians intentionally relocate into communities experiencing marginalisation?
Within a changing social and political context, the role of the church in public life and the response of Christians to social issues has taken on renewed energy. Churches have entered enthusiastically into community engagement projects such as foodbanks and night shelters, with a broad understanding of this as mission.
Reimagining Mission from Urban Places offers much needed reflection about the nature of mission and about expectations for missional outcomes. Using the stories of team members within the Eden Network (which emphasises an 'incarnational' approach to urban mission) the book demonstrates that at its best, mission happens in a shared life rather than being about 'us' telling the listening world.
A timely and provocative call to churches, missional groups, those involved in 'Fresh Expressions and other creative models of community-based church and those training for ministry to reflect more deeply on their practice and theology, the book insists that mission is about difference, love, locality and long-term consistency and, at its best, is slow, complicated and messy.
1. Reality is Good Enough 1
2. How People Change – Finding Pastoral Care in Mission 24
3. Missional Pastoral Care in Practice 49
4. If it’s Messy, Slow and Complicated,
You’re Probably Doing Something Right! 77
5. Is Missional Pastoral Care ‘Good News’? 110
6. Our Theological Season 144
7. The View From Here 177
Appendix: Practical Theological Research 200
Further Reading 220
"Drawing deeply on her research as a participant observer and her engagement with resources from many different disciplines, and illustrated with many stories, Anna Ruddick offers a perceptive, challenging and encouraging reinterpretation of the complexity, struggles and joys of mission in marginal places. This book has the potential to help bridge the gap that is often present between missional practitioners and those who deploy and support them, and to help practitioners better interpret and value their own experiences." -- Stuart Murray-Williams
"This is a fabulous book of stories, new insights and challenges to our received way of thinking about mission. Anna tells us that mission does not work the way we so often think it does. Through compelling story as well as fresh and deep theological insights, Anna explores mission at the margins in an urban context. She finds that this is a place of new life where our ideas about God, mission and the world can be challenged and reshaped. “Messy, slow and complicated” – Anna courageously names and engages with the reality of mission today." - Cathy Ross, Church Mission Society
"Anna brings a gift to urban practitioners - the gift of being heard and understood - and offers a new language to use to describe our experiences. I would recommend this to practitioners, theologians, students and anyone who wants to get a glimpse into the realities of urban ministry, and the deep learning that is happening there." -- Chris Lane, St Mellitus College, UK
"In a church where the words mission and transformation have become ubiquitous, Anna asks deep and searching questions about what we really mean by these words. Full of real life stories, sensitively and skilfully interpreted, this book has both affirmed me in my calling and ministry while also challenging my perspective on life and helping to grow my faith." -- Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester