We can’t win them all …

Apparently Steve and I have not won everyone over with our book Total Church! This from ‘the Virtual Methodist‘ …

Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis: This is a book in which the authors write as if they have just invented fire, or rather recieved it express delivery from heaven… they completely disregard historic, and contemporary precedent for their “gospel & community” approach, falling into the trap of some of the “back to the New Testament Church” brigade, who forget that those NT models sat within a specific time and culture. Their approach to the poor is patronising. Their attitude to other forms of ecclesiology is arrogant. Their dismissal of academic theology is disengenuous, given the level of theological content within the book. Their comments on worship within a less literate society is shallow, again especially so given the high view of written scripture espoused here. And as for their introduction to the section on pastoral care, rarely has any book left me so angry … They are clearly tapping into the post-modernist zeitgeist, whilst remaining rigorously, and self-righteously orthodox (or should I say conservative evangelical) in their theology, unlike more emergent community/house churches. There is something to be said for their critique of a lack of community within many established churches, the lack of scriptural orthodoxy/rigour within many emergent communities, and the subjective individuality of much modern “spirituality” … But the whole book left me with a sense of frustration at the “we know best” mentality … They have NOTHING good to say about anyone else or any other Christian tradition… This may not be a fair representation of the actual church community associated with Crowded House, but on the basis of this book, they needn’t bother making any room for me …

PS. Don’t worry I’m not too crushed so there’s no need to leave comments assuring me that you liked Total Church.

Audio from the Total Church Conference 2010

These audios are from the Total Church Conference 2010, Sheffield, UK. Steve Timmis shares what it looks like to be a ‘total church’.

Loving God, Loving Others

Church Under the Radar

Mission by Being a Good Neighbour (Church Planting Without Trying)

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The slimmer’s gospel

Jonny Woodrow shows how the framework of creation, fall, redemption and consummation can be used to connect the stories of our culture with the gospel story. He applies this approach to slimming and dieting.

Jonny is a church planter with The Crowded House (www.thecrowdedhouse.org) and a tutor for the Northern Training Institute (www.northerntraininginstitute.org). This video clip is from the 2010 Total Church Conference in Sheffield, UK. The full conference media are available here.

How gospel communities are different to some things that look similar

This is a re-posting. The original version of this video was not working so I have reloaded it.

In this clip I try to explain how our vision in Total Church and The Crowded House is different from some approaches that look similar. While not wanting to exaggerate the differences, I try to explain how our vision contrasts with that of reconstructionists who try to reproduce exactly what was happening the New Testament and pragmatists who are driven by sociological or business models. The key is biblical theology.

This video clip is from the 2010 Total Church Conference in Sheffield, UK. The full conference media are available here.

Introducing the GCM Collective

The website of the GCM Collective has gone live at www.gcmcollective.com.

‘GCM’ stands for ‘Gospel, Community, Mission’ and the GCM Collective exists “to promote, create and equip Gospel Communities on Mission”. It’s a collaboration between Jeff Venderstelt and Caesar Kalinowski from Soma in Tacoma, David Fairchild and Drew Goodmanson from Kaleo in San Diego, Jonathan Dodson from Austin City Life in Texas, and Steve Timmis and myself from The Crowded House.

A gospel community is a group of believers that lives out the mission of God together as family, in a specific area to a particular people group, by declaring and demonstrating the gospel in tangible forms. Regular people, living ordinary lives, with great gospel intentionality. The GCM Collective is a community that allows people to exchange ideas, resources and encouragement around topics that relate to creating gospel communities on mission.

Although the public site has only just gone live, we’ve had a community site for a couple of months with open discussions and resource sharing. Anyone can participate for free and we already have over 1,000 members.

Total Church Conference Feb 2010 – programme

Here’s the draft programme for The Total Church Conference.

Total Church Conference

Friday 19 – Saturday 20 February 2010

Day One: Everyday Gospel

  • Loving God, loving other (Steve Timmis)
  • A theology of washing up (Tim Chester)
  • Everyday pastoral care (Tim Chester)

Day Two: Everyday Mission

  • Church under the radar (Steve Timmis)
  • Everyday evangelism (Tim Chester)
  • Mission by being a good neighbour – church planting without trying (Steve Timmis)

Plus a variety of break out sessions.

The cost is £60 (waged) and £40 (unwaged) with a 15% discount for group bookings over five people. If you have any questions or want to book then please contact Becs Wells – rebecca [dot] wells [at] thecrowdedhouse [dot] org or 0114 267 6704. You can also find more information and book online here. Group bookings must be made with Becs.

Booking open for UK Total Church Conference, Feb 2010

You can now book online for the UK Total Church Conference in Sheffield, 19-20 February 2010. Here’s the blurb …

Ever wondered if there was more to church than holding committee meetings, writing budgets and overseeing programmes?

Are you starting to think that perhaps church is more about the people than the building, the staff team and even the weekly event?

Are you in a church with the desire to change but not really sure where or how to start?

You’ve read the book and like the ideas. You share a passion for the gospel, the local church and the glory of God. You buy into the vision of Total Church but the fact is you are not sure how your local church would go about turning the vision into a reality. Perhaps you’re wondering how your church can become a community in mission rather than a weekly meeting. This conference aims to offer practical advice and support for those wanting to make this transition.

The book Total Church has generated a number of conferences in different parts of the world, and this is the second UK-based conference arising out of Total Church, co-authored by Tim Chester & Steve Timmis. Both these authors will be speaking at the conference.

The two days will consist of plenary sessions and breakout sessions addressing subjects such as:
How do you turn the ideal into reality?
Now what?
Church planting?
Gospel communities?
Nuts and bolts of change?

Lunch and refreshments will be provided

Unfortunately, there are no facilities for children.

The closing date for booking onto the conference is Friday 12th February.

Waged: £60

Unwaged: £40