In the vanguard

Some British Christians are in the vanguard of a move to reintroduce their country to Jesus Christ.

My wife and I have seen some magnificent monuments to Christ in our visit to Britain in the last week.  But we realize that these celebrate past glories – and most people in Britain have long abandoned the church.

That’s heart-breaking if you care about Christ – and we do.

But we saw one tiny sign not far from our Southampton hotel of a new wave of believers who are reaching out to a skeptical world.

We discovered this church late – just a day or two before our departure.

It’s a church in a little building wedged in between shops in the shopping district on High Street, just above the old arch in the city walls.  It’s called the “Above Bar Church” – the Bar referring to the archway.

It was advertised by a little flag hanging on a lampost.  I looked it up on the Internet and saw pictures of a good number of people at a service.  And, to my great pleasure, it has a very active prayer ministry.

Explaining its mission, the church says: “We believe that God has a plan to bless the whole world through his Son Jesus Christ. We are therefore deeply committed to bringing his blessing to the world through acts of practical love and words of truth about Jesus.”

It is a “missional community”, a label attached to a growing movement of people around the world who are reaching out to people where they live and work rather than waiting for people to walk through the church doors.

The Above Bar Church is intent on helping people practically, establishing strong and loving relationships with them, and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with them.

A number of British men and women are leaders in the missional movement.

Mike Breen has written a number of books about how he and his churches have started down the missional road.  Alex Absalom, another British evangelical, was invited to a church in Canton, Ohio because of his missional work in England and he now writes a blog and speaks at major U.S. conferences.  There are others active, too.

Breen says that the missional movement must be more than programs and activities but must spring from a close and loving relationship with Christ – and dependence on the Holy Spirit.

The Christian church in Canada is facing many of the same issues already encountered in Britain.

It is good that we can learn from people who have already started on the missional path.


1 comment so far

  1. Judy on

    So glad that you and Ruth found this encouraging sign that Christianity may, yet, have hope of flourishing and influencing, in the UK,….and beyond! Hope you have pictures! Judy

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