Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Total Church

Have you ever read one of those books where it's as if someone has taken lots of things you were thinking about and written the book you wanted someone to write about them? For me, Total Church is one of those books. And Steve Timmis and Tim Chester have definitely stretched my brain.

I know it's been out for a while, but I had a book token (thanks Cumbria CU!) so I invested in it. It was worth every penny (in fact, I woul dhappily have spent the full £10 on it - I should've saved the book token for something else...). I can't actually express how much I love this book! And so there will probably be a few posts on this as I try to. The book is based on a simple idea - the church should be a community centred on the gospel, with a focus on mission. Having set that out (very clearly and persuasively), the boys head off into all sorts of different aspects of church life to find out what it means. The results are seriously mind-boggling. Once we've taken it on board, it will affect how we think about church and about it's place in the world.

As I said, it came along at just the right time, when I was thinking about some of this already. But Total Church made it really clear that I have a lot more thinking to do. In a lot of ways I was quite reassured by the book, because I'm possibly not as random as I thought I was. At a certain job interview recently, I said a couple of things off-the-cuff which I later thought sounded really stupid, and were probably wrong. But, to my surprise, Tim and Steve said them too! (I won't say what they were here, but I might mention them in future posts...)

If you're a Christian you should read this book, either to encourage you or (more likely) to challenge and unsettle you. Pastors should read it, but so should the people they're pastoring - it's all about community, which will only work if the 'leaders' and the 'led' are on board. I love this book. And if you bear with me, I'll tell you some of the reasons why...


Wendy said...

Have you read the last two copies of the Briefing? There's an interesting article, over two issues, which is an email discussion between Steve Timmis and two other guys (I forget who right now) about this book. I've not read it yet, but I've heard a number of things about it. A friend of mine is part of Crowded House in Sheffield, so it's interesting to hear about the theory in practice.

peterdray said...

It's the best book I've read in 2008. Really helpful and actually very good for the soul I think as well as the mind.

gazleaney said...

Cheers for that. I've put a link to the web version in a main blogpost.

I agree completely.