Steve's reflections on life

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The Lost Gospel
This season presents the greatest crisis and the greatest opportunity the church has faced in a very long time. I know many church leaders who are wrestling with the enormous challenge of what the church will be into the future. My personal view is that it should be ‘a hospital and a theatre’. A hospital that radically cares for the hurting and a theatre that extravagantly proclaims Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

In February 1971, decimal currency was introduced to Great Britain but the old currency could still be banked until January 1993. I wonder if it will be a little like that for the church as we know it. Something of the previous way of doing things will remain for a while but a new currency has surely come and will quickly become the norm. The use and ownership of church buildings and online communication are two things that will look different in the ‘Decimal Age’.

I speak into many church contexts and something that concerns me greatly is the loss of bold Gospel presentation and the huge emphasis on stage led worship. The New Testament Church seemed to do most of what happens during an average church service in small groups while the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel was public. I cannot help thinking on days that we have swapped them around. Church buildings, staff teams and resources are deployed to activity that sustains the congregation while the vital work of the Gospel resides in special projects or what we now call ‘friendship evangelism’ in homes.

I believe the new currency will involve the church recovering, recapturing and reimagining the clear public proclamation of the Gospel in a way that is creative, attractive and extremely effective. Evangelists should be getting ready for the season that is soon to be upon us, I am certainly doing that.

"The Gospel truth is not that which is written down in books, but rather it is a spoken message, a living word and a voice which sounds out into the world and is publicly proclaimed that it may be heard everywhere" (Martin Luther)


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