Iss2 workplace

The Workplace and the Missional God in Western Culture

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…Caroline, as well as describing her personal missional journey, suggests how our neglect of the workplace might change, and why it is important that it does for the sake of our ability to be missional and transformational within our secular western culture that has its own ‘discipling’ agenda. She is seeking in conjunction with the leadership of her local church, to find ways to practically implement some of the ideas contained in this article.

We can see now the enormous breadth of the range of the mission of the creator Spirit…the missionaries of the Holy Spirit includes probation officers, the literacy worker, the research chemist, the school teacher, computer operator et al.[i]

I began my working career in 1966 as a High School religious studies teacher. The ethos of my state school was largely reflective of the still dominant role that Christianity had in the culture.  The religious studies syllabus promoted confessional Christianity, as did assemblies where we sang hymns.  This was an ideal environment in which to express my faith – a faith that was heavily influenced by the evangelical and Pentecostal view of our role in society. ‘The Commission of the church is not to reform society, but to preach the Gospel’, said John Stott.[1]  There were several reasons for that view but one of the most influential was sourced in the widespread teaching of escapist eschatologies.[2]  Briefly described, Jesus was coming back at any time to rapture the church and would ultimately destroy the world with fire – a world that was only going to get worse, and thus it was pointless to engage with the culture other than to win people to Christ. If the rapture didn’t happen in our lifetime, at least we had ensured that we were going to heaven.[3]  Therefore, I saw that my primary mission in my workplace was to win young people to Christ. It has to be said that this was not without its fruit, which remains today. Along with two other teachers we planted a church from the young people won to Christ.  However, the intervening years have brought the understanding that this represented a truncated view of God’s missional purposes to His world. 

The journey of change has been a long one involving many paradigm shifts not the least being my escapist eschatology. Another factor in shifting my perception of mission is the increasing awareness of the huge cultural changes in our Western society where the dominant role of Christianity has been undermined. But arguably the greatest influence on me was my introduction to the Workplace Movement in the late 1990s.[4] Through its influence I have come to believe that the missional God is leading His church to discern the key role that the workplace plays in His purposes. In the words of one of the expressed aims of this Journal:  it is one of the ‘new contours the Holy Spirit is directing us towards’.[5] I contend that it is a new contour that the missional church movement should recognise.  It is essential to intentionally [6] equip and support Christians in the workplace if we are to faithfully engage our western culture and see transformation. Clearly it is only possible here to suggest ‘signposts’ and wider reading for the direction of an ongoing conversation. 

Neglect of the  workplace

The whole missionary force of the Church in the working world is by and large waiting to be released.[7]

The missional role of the workplace has been neglected by many local church leaders. The last forty years has seen a proliferation of literature, para-church organisations and conferences, all seeking to encourage the local church to equip Christians for the work of the ministry in the workplace. However, in spite of all this considerable input it appears there is still some way to go before the issue of mission and the workplace gains the acceptance it should rightly have. For example, we are the only known UK Assemblies of God church that is planning to develop some kind of workplace equipping agenda.[8] This is reflected in the wider church, as argued by Mark Greene, ‘globally, 98% of Christians are neither envisioned nor equipped for mission in 95% of their waking lives.’[9] Correcting this will require what Roxburgh calls the re-engagement with the core message of missional church: ‘developing cross cultural missionaries in our own culture.’[10] That should surely apply to the workplace.

Engaging missionally with workplace institutions

One of the main reasons that we need to equip and support ‘Workplace Christians’ (WPCs) is because of the role that workplace institutions play in constructing reality  and thereby shaping our culture.[11]  Paul Simpson and Andrea Mayr write:

Institutions have the capacity to create, shape and impose discourses. Institutions have considerable control over the organising of our routine experiences of the world and the way we classify that world. They therefore have power to foster particular kinds of identities that suit their own purposes because they are primary sites for ‘reality construction.[12]

Thus the missional issue for ‘WPC’s’ is how they can contribute as cross cultural missionaries to the reality construction that shapes culture. Controlling most of the public view of reality in institutions is a small group of elites that James Hunter calls the gatekeepers of culture. He created a storm when he suggested that most of the perceived Christian wisdom as to how culture is changed is fundamentally flawed.[13]  Hunter challenges the many traditional approaches to societal transformation which include ways of doing evangelism, political action and social reform.[14] He acknowledges that they have done much good and remain an important part of the mission of the Church. However, he argues that if you really are going to effect societal transformation then reliance upon those approaches alone are wholly mistaken because ‘they ignore the institutional nature of culture and disregard the way culture is embedded in structures of power.’[15]  He claims that we have to influence the gatekeepers if we want to see society transformed. They are an elite group who are strategically placed and networked in the structures of cultural production where they have an inordinate amount of influence in relation to their numbers.[16] Gatekeepers effectively decide what messages society will receive. It is in the workplace institutions where many gatekeepers are to be found that culture is sourced and or transmitted. Thus it is the place where one of the main missional battles is fought for the shape of our culture.[17]

Power struggle

Where Christianity loses its ability to recreate the world, other powers take its place.[18]

Currently there is a power struggle underway regarding who has the right to contribute to the construction of reality. Those gatekeepers who represent the secular ideology often claim the right to be the dominant voice in a pluralist society that has many different worldviews. It is argued that the secular agenda alone presents a neutral, rational and objective viewpoint.  For example, a UK academic writes that in the world of education there is a commonly held view that:

Teaching is about imparting accurate information, neutrally and objectively.  It concerns itself with literacy, numeracy, scientific and historical facts and the like.  As soon as you imagine that there are narrowly ideological – worse religious – ways of imparting information, you weaken your commitment to objectivity and open the door to all sorts of educational viruses that congregate under the heading of ‘indoctrination.[19]

There are a number of other areas concerning the secularising agenda which Christians need to be equipped to challenge. Some of these are issues around tolerance, equality and not giving offence. There have been some highly publicised cases where some Christians have lost their jobs, been suspended, or sued in the civil courts for supposedly causing offence because of faith issues. It is important for local church leaders to understand the nature of these issues and equip Christians to be faithful to Christ as they engage these challenges. However, they represent some of the fruit of constructed reality and we are concerned in this article with the foundations of that construction.

Human Flourishing

Secularists claim the right from a rational and or scientific stance to be the dominant voice in defining what it is to be human. Smith argues that in this respect they are a religious movement:

I want to give a heightened awareness of the religious nature of many of the cultural institutions we inhabit ….. By  religious, I mean that they are institutions that command our allegiance, that aim to capture our heart with particular visions of the good life. They want to make us into certain kinds of people. They are not neutral or benign, but rather intentionally loaded to unwittingly make us disciples of rival kings and patriotic citizens of rival kingdoms.[20]

‘Particular visions of the good life’, go right to the heart of human identity, meaning and purpose. The understanding of what constitutes the good life is worked out within the concept of human flourishing. There is a growing interest in this concept by Christian academics and its relationship to healthy organisations.[21]  Likewise, secular humanists such as Sam Harris are adopting the term. His book is described as, ‘making a powerful case for a morality that is based on human flourishing and thoroughly enmeshed with science and rationality.’[22] Such secular literature would undoubtedly agree with the Christian view that we should pursue what is good, just, true and beautiful.[23] However, without any outside reference to a transcendent God, ‘if there is no fixed point of reference, no shared meaning then it is possible to impute any meaning to words one desires.’[24] In terms of the gatekeepers, expressions like ‘good’ and ‘true’ will mean what they decide they should mean.[25] This has important implications for the kind of institutions that are created. For example, the Yale theologian Miroslav Volf, shows how the vision of society today contrasts with the past. It was once set in the context of loving God and your neighbour and focused on what is true, and good. However, those words divorced from God are defined by some in terms of experiential satisfaction. He argues that this is a philosophy of life which is affecting huge areas of society today. It is a view of life that is focused on instant gratification for the purposes of self pampering, and he believes that it is reflected and enhanced in the university. He sees them as institutions that once saw human flourishing in terms of living a meaningful life, and less about achievement in specific endeavours.  It was about success at being human.[26] The shift in emphasis away from that focus should be a matter of concern.  Allen Wakabayashi outlines the incredible influence that universities have in our world.  According to him they define what is important and carry their outlook into domains such as business, the arts, medicine, social sciences and education.[27]

Telling an alternate story

In light of the above, the words of James Smith are apt. He encourages us to learn to read institutions in order that we might,

discern the antithesis between the Christian vision of the kingdom, and the visions of human flourishing that are implicit in so many current configurations of cultural institutions.[28]

The source of that discernment demonstrates the foundational differences between the secular and the Christian foundation of reality. This is powerfully summed up in the words of Jesus to some of the gatekeepers of His day:  ‘You live in terms of what you can see and touch…..I’m talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father.’[29]

Christians have an alternate story of reality to tell that is sourced in a transcendent and immanent God.  It is a story of the good, the true, the just and the beautiful that challenges the secular version. It is the story of how God created humanity for purpose – for the building of cities, culture and commerce in partnership with Him.[30] It also tells how that intention was corrupted. But supremely it is the story of Christ’s work which has now launched the new creation restoration project.[31] Our mission within workplace institutions is to be agents of the Reign of God, thus usurping the rule of the fallen principalities and powers by demonstrating ‘the multi-coloured wisdom of God.’[32]  

Individuals and the institutions they create reflect not only what is good, but what is toxic to human flourishing. Promoting the good and challenging the toxic will be encouraged by the outworking of the words, ‘seek the welfare, the shalom, the well being of the people and the city where you have been placed.’[33] Those words were spoken to the exiled Jews in Babylon. Babylon stands as the biblical image of asociety built without reference to God. We are called to be salt and light within the workplace,to influenceindividuals and culture according to God’s original intention for them.[34] The exiled prophet Daniel modelled that as he lived in Babylon. His Holy Spirit directed mission strategy, challenged toxicity as well as catching the attention of the gatekeeper. He did this through a combination of character, faith, intimacy with God and demonstration of a supernatural alternate and better story. He was recognised by the King as a man with ‘an excellent spirit’ [35] which led to him being raised to a position of influence in Babylon as he offered creative kingdom solutions. 

Practical examples

Shaping the world for God brings life in all its fullness.[36]

The Daniel ‘model’ of mission strategy has in the past resulted in gaining an influence that brings positive cultural change within and through the workplace. The 19th century Quakers brought transformation within the workplace environment as well as the living conditions of their workers. They also created businesses based on kingdom values.[37] There are also many missional lessons to be learned from the well documented life of William Wilberforce. He effected change in society’s attitude to slavery through his workplace as a Member of Parliament. The faithfulness of these reformers to Christ’s holistic mission to the world not only saw society changed, but also led to many people coming to Christ as the credibility of the Christian faith was advanced. [38]

The following is a currently topical example of someone from my local church who through his workplace has seen the outworking of a kingdom vision in ways that are promoting human flourishing. 

Ed works for a Christian charity that cares for ex –offenders. He is the Team Leader of a mentoring project designed to bring a more holistic approach to offenders within the prison system. The project came out of a vision which he believes God gave him, to bring a societal change in attitude and approach to the issue of reoffending prisoners. The project seeks to, ‘engender permanent and positive transformational change through the long-term, consistent and non-judgemental support of ex-offenders.’[39] The project was encouraged by a a major speech of the then Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke about a Prison Rehabilitation Revolution.[40] It propounded the principle of restorative justice with the need to break the offending cycle.

For Ed this was confirmation that this was a change that Christ was seeking to bring about.Ed believed that society was not really taking responsibility for ex-offenders. In order to stop criminal activity society has to find a way to support them and Ed was seeking to provide a mentoring programme that offered practical ways to prevent reoffending. As part of the development of the project, Ed and his team pulled together a strong network of influential people – who could be well described as gatekeepers of culture. They were Christians and non Christians and included financial backers who offered five million pounds to the project.

Even as I write this, Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary has announced that the government is seeking to develop the concept of mentoring through the private sector and charitable organisations.[41] Ed and his team already have in place a potential model to meet the need. Surely such demonstrations of kingdom faith, values and wisdom are worth supporting, encouraging, and enhancing. In order to do that certain paradigm shifts will need to be made in the area of theology and our church cultures.

Eschatology goes to work

For many evangelicals and Pentecostals the first seven decades of the 20th century saw a truncated view of mission that excluded the concept of cultural engagement. It has already been suggested that that one of the causes was the adoption of escapist eschatologies.[42] However, the last four decades has seen a renewed commitment to social activism, and societal reform alongside the traditional evangelism. Accompanying that shift, at least for Assemblies of God, has been a lessening of the preaching of escapist eschatologies. This is being replaced by a more biblically based eschatological framework for mission.[43] In considering the ‘new contours the Holy Spirit is directing us towards’, there have been a number of theologians who have recently explored eschatology and its relationship to work. There are several themes that can be developed in order to underpin the concept of missional engagement with workplace culture and its gatekeepers.

1) The future of the present and the presence of the future: Miroslav Volf was a doctoral student of Jurgen Moltmann who has had a powerful influence on the current understanding of eschatology.[44] Volf has written a theology of work built upon the eschatological view that this world will not be destroyed.[45] There will be both a continuity and discontinuity between this world and the new creation which is to come – the New Heaven and the New Earth. It’s, ‘Behold I make all things new.’ Not, ‘I make all new things.’[46] He goes on to describe work as, ‘the human proleptic cooperation in God’s eschatological transformation of the world.’[47]  He is thus following a number of academics who are adopting inaugurated eschatology as the framework for mission. The death and resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit have inaugurated the eschatological age – the last days. God’s new creation restoration project has begun and will find its consummation in the future New Heaven and the New Earth.  Our mission is to anticipate, to give a foretaste of that future- a future that has already begun to come forward to meet us in the present. As Tom Wright puts it, eschatology is not just about what will happen at the end of time but encompasses the belief that, ‘history was going somewhere under the guidance of God; and where it was going was towards God’s new world of justice, healing and hope.’[48]

2) Our transformed worksMiroslav Volf also explains in his theology of work how the theme of continuity of the creation radically affects how we should see our daily work:

 The picture changes radically with the assumption that the world will end not in apocalyptic destruction but in eschatological transformation. Then the results of the cumulative work of human beings have intrinsic value and gain ultimate significance for they are related to the eschatological new creation…. the noble products of human ingenuity….will form the ‘building materials’ from which (after they are transfigured) the glorified world’ will be made.[49]

Other writers have noted:

 The promise that the glory and the honour of the nations will be brought into the New Jerusalem motivates us to seek the redemption of all human cultures, including the worlds of technology and the visual and performing arts…[50]

and we might add, every domain of life.

3) Transformed gatekeepers: The New Heaven and the New Earth will see the entrance of ‘the kings of the earth bringing their glory and honour into it.[51] Writers such as Richard Mouw [52] agree that they represent the cultures of the nations by the kings, or for our purposes, the gatekeepers. These are the same kings of the earth who have previously been the client kings of Rome and seduced by the spirit of Babylon. These former enemies of Christ have been transformed.[53] Mouw develops this theme in his book and is an encouragement to us that our missional engagement with the gatekeepers will bear fruit.

Workplace theology

This is acknowledged as a neglected area of study in seminaries and Bible Colleges where future leaders are trained. This neglect is arguably one the reasons why it is not often taught in the local church.[54] There are however an increasing number of such theologies becoming available. Some topics that might be included are:

·      Humans in the image of the Trinitarian God who works

·      Humans as co-creators with God on the journey from the garden city to the New Jerusalem

·      Work and human flourishing

·      Work within a secular culture

·      Work and spiritual gifts

·      Daily work and human need

·      Daily work as ministry

·      Work in a fallen world

·      The eternal value of work

·      Work and worship

·      Work, ethics and justice

·      Work, church, family, rest balance

Transforming the church culture

The church was never designed to be a fortress for the righteous; rather it was designed to be a flood of revolutionaries into every dark place.  In the New Testament, the church knows herself as an unstoppable grassroots movement.[55]

Many churches have a culture ‘which is centred on gathered church activities at the expense of the church in its scattered form.’[56]  At Lausanne 2010 Mark Greene asked five hundred delegates how many of their churches had a primary mission strategy to recruit the people of God to use some of their leisure time to join the missionary initiatives of church-paid workers.[57] Only ten delegates said that their church had a different model. In Greene’s view this has reinforced asacred/secular divide that has led to the workplace message going into ‘toxic soil’ that has blinded some local church leaders to the missional potential of ‘WPC’s’.[58]  

However, it is not enough to merely change the ‘pulpit message’. Our church cultures can send out subliminal messages that contradict the very shift we are attempting to bring about. A church pastor spent some months encouraging her congregation to take Christ into their workplace but found the message wasn’t being well received. Eventually she realised that her message was being contradicted by the church systems and structures which were shouting ‘Come’ when she was saying, ‘Go.’:

We found that there is a disjuncture between the stated purpose of the Christian church and the way it is organised locally….The church exists for mission, for the sake of the world.[59] Yet it is organised to build itself up as an institution. It draws people to itself, but fails to send them back out. It blesses the work its members do within the institution but pays no attention to the work they do ‘outside’ the church.[60]

Below, are some examples of structures and practices that might subliminally undermine our message alongside some corrective suggestions. The list is not exhaustive, but there is hopefully enough said to provoke an examination of our local church culture.

1) Much of our current leadership training is focused on equipping people to manage church programmes. However, Graham Cray suggests that we need to explore new ways of training leadership. 

The practise of Christian leadership has to be reviewed. I understand mission to include everything that Christ sends His disciples to do, and to include the vocations of all Christians in God’s world.[61]

We could provide a generic form of leadership training that encompasses both local church and workplace equipping. Just as doctors are trained for general medicine and then specialise, we should provide training that provides the skills, character development and ethics that are transferable to both the church and the workplace world. That will help those whose career path is within the church or the workplace to understand both worlds and enable them to work together for the future mission of the church. 

2) The use of language around words such as ministry, missionary, full-time Christian work or even that of clergy and laity should be reconsidered. The Bible knows nothing of the narrow focus with which those words are commonly used to create a distinction between those in so called spiritual work and the rest. There is a strong biblical case to be made that we are all are ministers, missionaries, clergy, laity and in Christian full-time work and all Christians are called to ‘do the work of the ministry’ in every domain of life.[62]

3) Spiritual gifts are often confined to church activities. Rather, we should equip for their 24/7 usage so that ‘WPC’s’ know how to use words of knowledge and wisdom, prophecy, and prayer as part of their strategy of transformation.

4) Affirmation of gifting is often centred on church programmes. The following quotation will suffice to make the point:

I spend an hour a week teaching Sunday school and they haul me up to the front of the church to pray for me. The rest of the week I’m full-time teacher and the church has never prayed for me. That says it all. [63]

Encouraging workplace Christians to share their stories in church as well as praying for them publicly would reinforce the view that the church values and supports them in every area of their lives not just when they are engaged in church based activities.

A practical example

Our local church has embarked on a journey to reframe our understanding of our call to be missional on our frontlines including the workplace. What is particularly pertinent here is that we are beginning to firstly understand the nature of the mission and as a consequence are considering how that might affect our church culture and even our theology. This is only briefly mentioned here because accompanying this article is a short interview with my local church pastor reflecting on something of our journey.[64] But ultimately we would like to see the outworking of these words:

Now is the time for prayerful and prophetic gatherings to build some modern cathedrals.  These would be settings in which Christians identify strategies to impact education, business, the media, arts, politics, and sport and technology- areas with such dramatic impacts on our culture.[65]

Conclusion

I have argued for workplace Christians to be equipped and supported by their local church leaders in order that they might learn to discern where the missional God is working in the workplace and partner with Him. This journey of workplace cultural engagement within western culture needs to be travelled by the whole body of Christ. Among other things, it will require the development of practical strategies for missionally engaging with the gatekeepers for transformation. Such a development requires wider resources than would normally be found in most local churches. I propose that we consider establishing city-wide or regional centres of excellence that can bring together academics, particularly in the field of cultural engagement, workplace leaders such as head teachers and business leaders, church leaders and grass-roots ‘WPC’s as well prophetic intercessors. Meanwhile, the lack of such a centre should not deter us from at least beginning in small ways to make the necessary changes to raise the profile of God’s mission to the workplace.[66]


[1] Said at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin in 1966.  He later changed his view which he shared at Lausanne in 1974 and founded London Institute of Contemporary Christianity which has  been campaigning for the recognition of  the workplace in God’s missional purposes. 

[2]  Classical Dispensationalism was one such eschatology.  The Assemblies of God movement to which I belong formally adopted all the tenets of this eschatology with the exception of its cessationist ideas.

[3] Tom Wright  is critical of this highly truncated version of the gospel. Cf. Surprised by Hope (London: SPCK, 2007)

[4] Workplace Ministries seek to bring a corrective to the fact that there are swathes of Christians, already potentially positioned to be culturally engaged for the kingdom of God at the places where culture is sourced and/or transmitted, and yet the significance of that fact has been largely ignored by the church.

[6] I deliberately use the word ‘intentionally’ – many churches have excellent discipling programmes but fail to address the particular issues that believers face in the workplace.

[7] E-book:  Bridget Adams & Manoj Raithatha, Building the Kingdom through Business, (Watford: Instant Apostle, 2012), Location 493.

[8] Assemblies of God – sometimes referred to as Classical Pentecostals who trace their origins to the outpouring of Holy Spirit at Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906

[9]Mark Greene,  ‘Mission world- One more wall to go?’  http://www.licc.org.uk/pdfs/EG28%20Mission%20World%20One%20More%20Wall%20To%20Go.pdf. 2011 (Last accessed 11.11.12)

[10] Alan Roxburgh, Missional, Joining God in the Neighbourhood, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 119.

[11] Institutions – Education, politics, media, business, health, law et al

[12] Paul Simpson & Andrea Mayr, Language and Power, (London: Routledge 2010), 6.

[13] James Hunter, To Change the World, (Oxford: OUP, 2010).

[14] Eg one by one conversion

[15]Hunter, To Change the World,  27.

[16] Ibid,pp19 -45

[17] Gatekeepers are to found at local, national and international levels.  Strategies for engaging these gatekeepers need to be developed at all levels, but it is at the national and international level of the ruling elites in the areas of cultural production such as education, media, law and politics, that there is an urgent need to encourage the development of networked ‘elites’ who are carriers of the Christian  message and ethos.

[18] Vinay Samuel & Chris Sugden, Mission as Transformation, (Eugene, Or: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1999), 154. 

[19] Trevor Cooling, Doing God in education, (London:Theos,  2010), 8.     Download from:  http://www.stapleford-centre.org/files/files/ DoingGodinEducation.pdf  In this article, Cooling provides an excellent argument against this view of neutrality.

[20] James Smith, Desiring the Kingdom, (Grand Rapids, Mich.:Baker Academic, 2009), 90.

[21] Cf Miroslav Volf’s website: http://www.yale.edu/faith/ghf/ghf.htm

[22] Sam Harris, ‘The Moral Landscape: How Science can Determine Moral Values.’ (New York: Free Press, 2011), Back Cover.

[23] Philippians 3.8  All references unless otherwise stated are from NKJV.

[24] Hunter,  To Change the World, 205-210.

[25] This is partly the argument of Don Carson, Intolerance of Tolerance, (Nottingham: IVP, 2012), He discusses how there is a process of prosletysing epistemology which is seen in the redefinition of the word tolerance – it is the ‘new tolerance’ that is creating challenges for  WPC’s- ie tolerance is now about ‘agreement’ rather than ‘agreement to disagree’.

[26] E-book, Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, (Grand Rapids,MI: Brazos Press, 2011),  Location 1148

[27] Allen Wakabayashi, Kingdom Come, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2003 ), 105.

[28] Smith, Desiring the Kingdom,  72.

[29] John 8.15,38   Message Bible, (Colorado Springs,CO: Nav Press, 2005).

[30] Genesis 1-11

[31] Acts 3.21 

[32] Ephesians 3.10

[33] Jeremiah 29.7  

[34] This article is not meant to imply that change is only affected in the workplace context. Being missional and salt and light of course applies to every area of our lives. As a local church we have begun a process of awakening the church to their call to their frontlines – every where they are placed in their daily lives. 

[35] Daniel 5.12

[36] Adams & Raithatha, Building the Kingdom through Business, Location 369.

[37] These names include, Cadbury, Rowntree, Fry, Wedgwood, Barclay, Lloyd. Their influence on society in the 19th century development of these businesses is the more remarkable because they represented less than 0.1% of population.

[38] Adams and Raithatha, Building the Kingdom through Business, Location 479 ;  William Hague, William Wilberforce, (London:Harper Press, 2007); Ernest Howse, Saints in Politics, the Clapham sect and the growth of freedom, (Guildford, University of Toronto Press, 1976) ; Martin Robinson & Dwight Smith, Invading Secular Space,(London: Monarch Books, 2003),59-73

[40] Delivered at Centre for Crime and Justice Studies on 30/6/10.  Follow the link for the transcript on http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/prisons+in+the+uk+are+a+costly+and+ineffectual+failure+according+to+justice+secretary+ken+clarke/3696277.html(Last accessed 12/12/12).

[41] Announced on BBC news, 20.11.12

[42] Dennis Peaco>http://www.gostrategic.org/index.cfm?pageid=184

[43] For instance, according to Margaret Poloma’s research, only 58% of Pentecostals surveyed, agreed with the statement, ‘I believe in the dispensationalist  interpretation of scripture’.  Quoted in: JEPTA, Vol 31:2 (2011), p 152

[44] Many academics such as Richard Bauckham credit him with rehabilitating eschatology for modern biblical faith. 

[45] Miroslav Volf, Work in the Spirit, (Eugene, Oregon.: Wipf & Stock, 2001).

[46] Rev 21.5

[47] Volf, Work in the Spirit,   91.

[48] Wright, Surprised by Hope, 134.

[49] Miroslav Volf, Work in the Spirit, (Eugene, Oregon.: Wipf & Stock, 2001), p.91  Also Rev 14.13

[50]T. Howard Peskett & Vinoth Ramachandra, The Message of Mission.(Leicester: IVP,2003), 276.

[51] Rev21.24

[52] See Richard Mouw‘s, When the King’s Come Marching In, (Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2002).

[53] Rev 18.3

[54] David Miller, God at Work, (Oxford, OUP, 2007), 89.

[55] Rob Wegner & Jack MacGruder, Missional Moves, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 58.

[56] Neil Hudson, Imagine Church , (Nottingham:IVP, 2012), 39.

[57] Lausanne conference –speech delivered  2010 in South Africa.

[58] Greene, ‘Mission world- One more wall to go?’             

[59] The missional church would express this differently ie it is not the church has a mission but that the mission has a church. However the point Crabtree is making remains relevant.

[60] Davida Foy Crabtree, The Empowering Church, (Alban Institute, 1989), xii.

[61] Cray, Discerning Leadership, 3.

[62] Cf  Paul Stevens, The Other Six Days, (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1999).

[63] Mark Greene, Supporting Christians at Work, (London:LICC, 2001), 5.

[64] http://youtu.be/HQUCVn-dQLs  : ‘Hope on the frontline.’

[65] Joel Edwards, Agenda for Change,  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing,2008), 116.

[66] The LICC are currently undertaking a series of workshops – Imagine: on the road –  to aid local churches to begin the journey of changing the local church culture to be more missionally oriented towards believers’ frontlines. Details of the tour are available on their website! www.licc.org.uk/  There is also a recently published book that outlines what they are trying to do and why: Neil Hudson, Imagine Church  (Nottingham: IVP, 2012).


[i] Graham Cray, Discerning Leadership, (Cambridge: Grove books, 2010), 3.

Caroline Dover

Caroline Dover is a retired High School teacher living in Northumberland,UK  and plays an active part in the life and mission of Hope Church, Sunderland.  Her Pentecostal church background, a  twenty year contact with the Workplace Movement, as well as recent research for a recently awarded MA in Missional Leadership, have all had a seminal influence on her continuing focus on the missional role of the workplace in Western cultural engagement.

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