Everyday Church: mission by being good neighbours by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis is a great book. In many ways it is a clearer, simpler and more practical version of Total Church. The book is loosely based on 1 Peter and looks at how we can reach an increasingly secularised society. The heart of the book is summed up as:
‘It is a call for us to be an everyday church with an everyday mission. We need to shift our focus from putting on attractional events to creating attractional communities.’
The authors show how we are now a Christian church at the margins of society and so the vast majority of the lost will never come into our buildings (about 70%). Therefore we need to become an everyday community – a missionary people. That is, we need to be different in the way we live and be visible in that. We need to go out. Be out.
They go onto show how this effects our pastoral care (each one loving one another) and that we need to be applying the gospel to each others lives in a spontaneous and intentional way. Their section on ‘four liberating truths’ is simply amazing. They show how all our pastoral struggles come down to forgetting one of the following:
- God is great – so we don’t have to be in control
- God is glorious – so we don’t have to fear others
- God is good – so we don’t have to look elsewhere
- God is gracious – so we don’t have to prove ourselves