Corporate Repentance?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing about the challenge facing our churches as we recognise our failure to reach people from working class and ethnic minorities with the gospel and to grow churches that in terms of attendance, membership and leadership reflect ethnic and class diversity.

I’ve noted that there have been a number of calls for repentance for past failure and past sin and the possibility of “corporate repentance”. In a previous article, I talked about the need some of the challenges with this, specifically, how do you bring people together collectively and who speaks for them. Continue reading

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People like me

I wrote in an earlier article about how the decision to pursue a perceived elite to enable trickle down evangelism was such a massive wrong turn in the 20th century. It’s not that elitism is the only problem, rather, it is an example of a dangerous attitude and is indeed exemplary of the way that attitude works. Continue reading

Inside the Camp? Evangelical Tribalism and multi-cultural church

I want to talk a little about a couple of words and phrases I’ve heard over the years in connection with conservative evangelicalism. We slip into talking about ” our tribe” or “our camp” and then we talk about those who are “outside the camp.” Continue reading

A movement for change

In the last couple of articles I’ve been writing about issues to do with race (and a little about class) that we need to respond to if we are to see multi-cultural churches reaching multi-cultural communities.

Of course, it is easy to identify problems but how does change happen? We say that “The Church” or even “The Conservative Evangelical constituency” need to change.  Agreed, but what does that look like in practice? Continue reading

Our problems with race and class -what’s at the root of them?

On and off over the past few years I’ve been writing about urban mission. I’ve also had lots of conversations on and off line about the issues and challenges. A key theme keeps coming up it’s the absence of working class and people from non-white ethnic groups in our churches and in our leadership. Continue reading

6 Reasons why we have failed to reach working class and deprived communities (Unreached)

In his book Unreached, Tim Chester identifies 6 reasons why the church has struggled to reach working class and deprived communities. Continue reading

Getting to know the West Midlands

So, you are thinking about pastoral ministry in an urban area, maybe as a trainee, pastor, church planter or part of a revitalisation team. Where do you start? One thing I would encourage you to do is spend some time getting to know the area, getting a feel for the communities and cultures.  There’s a good role model for this. Paul spent time walking around Athens, observing. Continue reading