The programme-less programme

One of the things we often talk about is the need to permeate ordinary life with the gospel.

I remember speaking at a conference about living ordinary life with gospel intentionality. Questioner after questioner asked me about the structures that needed to be in place. But, of course, you cannot programme ordinary life! ‘When do you do evangelism?’ people asked. ‘When do you pastor one another?’ ‘While I do the washing up’ did not seem to satisfy them, but it was the only answer I could give!

Of course, programmes and events are good and can really help reinforce a gospel culture. But if the gospel is going to saturate who whole lives then we need people who are proactively committed to speaking the gospel to unbelievers and believers in ordinary life.

We try to create this culture by things like regularly teaching missional values, celebrating gospel opportunities, setting aside time each time we meet to share how God has been at work in our lives, ‘commissioning’ people as missionaries in their workplaces and social clubs, and so on.

Above all we model the culture for one another so that it becomes the normal thing to do. The communities to which we introduce people must be communities in which it is normal to be talking about God. This means talking about what we are reading in the Bible, praying together whenever we share needs, delighting together in the gospel, sharing our spiritual struggles, not only with Christians but with unbelievers.

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