Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Being Church Doing Life by Michael Moynagh - REVIEWED

About the Book:

Christians worldwide are learning new ways to connect their faith to everyday life. Gospel communities are popping up everywhere – in cafes, gyms, tattoo parlours, laundromats. This movement, called Fresh Expressions, is attracting thousands and growing rapidly. With over 120 real-life examples, Michael Moynagh describes easy ways for ordinary Christians to embrace this highly effective approach to local mission. Anyone can do it! 

My Thoughts:
Witnessing communities kneaded through life:
Reveal the character of God,… Display the nature of the kingdom,… Make church relevant… Help to draw in people from outside church, …Enable emerging Christians to experience the church where they are,… Disciple new Christians in a group with a mission focus.”(p. 57-59)

Sounds like a rather lofty goal doesn’t it?  Well, it’s not.  The witnessing communities that Michael Moynagh sets forth in his book Being Church Doing Life is very familiar to me, because my church already models this style of a living church!  It isn’t exactly the same, granted, but it’s so similar that when I first began reading all of the examples of groups, I found myself saying, “We have a group like that! and that too! And that too!”  Very similar concept. 

And it WORKS!!!  Beautifully and purposefully in the community to draw the unchurched to Christ.  It isn’t an easy nor quick process, but the time invested and the relationships that develop are the very things that draw others to Christ, because the church is now an active presence in their lives!  In Maynagh’s extended concept and the fundamental way the church develops and interacts with these witnessing communities it is evident that this isn’t an exact science.  It takes some time and trial and error.  But the bottom line is the same….the church MUST move beyond the walls of its building, genuinely loving and reaching out to people where they are…if they want to reach people  for eternal purpose!

Churches may indeed be birthed from these communities, and if that happens, Maynagh addresses that as well.  He has been Spirit led to introduce others to a new (yet not new at all according to the Bible) way of being the church and doing life with those around us!

I am really excited to introduce this book to others, because I am living the result of this type of church and these type of life-giving witnessing communities!! God is moving! He is drawing His people unto Himself!  It is EXCITING!! It is life giving!!  Check it out!

About the Author:
Revd Dr Michael Moynagh, based at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, works for Fresh Expressions as Director of Research and Editor of Share, in which capacity he is drawing together what we are learning about the theology and practice of fresh expressions. He is also codirector of the Tomorrow Project which advises businesses and Government on social trends. As part of his Fresh Expressions role, Michael has a watching brief for the education and training of Ordained Pioneer Ministers.
He has written widely on social and church issues, and his books include:
  • Working in the twenty-First Century, ESRC, 2005;
  • Going Global, A&C Black/Guardian Books, 2008;
  • Changing Lives, Changing Business, A&C Black, 2009;
  • Changing World, Changing Church, Monarch, 2001;
  • emergingchurch.intro, Monarch, 2005.

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