I hope you have had a delightful weekend, and are feeling primed for the week ahead.
I am planning to send a weekly “thought for the week” to those interested in pioneering stuff. Sometimes (like today) it will be a thought-provoking quote; other times it may be a book recommendation (well, I have one of those today too); other times it may be to refer you to a useful resource, such as a course, a conference or a blog.
Since we all have more email than we need, if you would prefer not to receive this “thought for the week,” let me know and I won’t send them.
Here’s the quote. It’s from William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury before the Second World War:
It is clear that the Church only fulfils its function as the Body of Christ if it is constantly thinking how those outside are to be won inside. The preoccupation of the Church should be with those outside; but very few Church people have any conscious sense of responsibility with regard to people who are detached from the Church. As we look round at our brother clergy, or think about the reasons for this, we recognise that we are eagerly absorbed, perhaps inevitably, in maintaining the life of the congregation that is already secure, and not thinking very much about those who are completely detached. We are troubled about those we lose, but unless I am very much mistaken about those with whom I have talked, concern about those outside does not lie heavy on the clergy. We are too much concerned about other things. Perhaps while we are understaffed this is inevitable. Yet the church ought to be concerned with bringing the Gospel of Christ to bear on the lives of other people, and bringing them to accept Him as their Saviour and King. We must change the direction of the thoughts of the Church, and the frame of mind of the clergy and the people. (William Temple, “Evangelism,” March 1936)
The book recommendation is Stephen Neil’s “The History of Christian Missions,” which I see is currently on sale at Crux. Though quite old now (1964), it’s a classic, full of interest and inspiration. You don’t have to read it cover to cover (though that’s good for the flow) but you can dip into it almost at random and find something worthwhile.
Blessings on your week!