4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Resourcing Mission - Practical, thought provoking, motivating,
This review is from: Resourcing Mission (Paperback)
Practical is what sums up Cameron's book Resourcing Mission. Not another book on Mission some might sigh. But this book is different. The conversational tone Cameron takes through out the book, suggests that she wants to engage with the reader as if she were actually in the room with you.
The book takes on an original format. We have some introductory chapters expounding practical theology for the uninitiated. You might decide to skip over this and miss the chapter on 5 cultural forms of church moving onto the examples in chapters 3-9 which can be taken individually and used in a variety of contexts where mission in context is being discussed. Find a church that fits your situation and you will go back and read the whole book.
The cultural forms of church make for interesting reading. The book argues that there is an inescapable relationship between gospel and culture, and like any other social activity, the church too will be seen by others to have a cultural identity. The five cultural forms identified with two that will be familiar within the UK church context. So, Parishes as public utilities - a Parish Church in every neighbourhood with an obligation to every resident and Gathered Congregations as voluntary associations - all believers gathered together as a foretaste of the kingdom of God. An alternative `pressure group' formed together to withstand cultural pressures. Then there are three further cultural forms: the small- group church as a book group and party plan. The intimacy of the small group where learning and discipleship together shape the lives of the attendees. Then Third place church as church meeting in secular third places - the meeting together in neutral places where church meets world and bridges are made to enable relationships and where mission is enabled. Finally Magnet church or church as parental choice. This cultural form creates safer spaces for families, adults, young people and children alike to facilitate families experiencing the Christian way and valuing the vocation of parenthood.
The examples in the later chapters are on one level amusing tales, but have a deeper missiological point to make and need to be used in the context of church council, deacons meetings, deanery synod or prayer group and all the various denominational equivalents.
This is not a stodgy theological book that is difficult to read and understand. It is a theological book and seamlessly brings theology and practice together through use of the pastoral cycle and theological reflection and engagement with the realities of church life in Britain in today's world. For any serious practitioner, any minister trying to get to grips with mission and culture, for anyone in church who believes that mission is what the church is here for, then this book is a must read. It is deliberately written for `the grass roots' and to enable to ordinary leader/minister in the churches to read and then use as a tool for engagement in mission. This book will not tell you how to do it, it is not a manuscript for `how to grow your church' but it is a book to help all of us think about what sort of church and why and how and who might come. It will get you talking and thinking and planning and praying and motivating you to `do' mission. The book is a must for any minister wanting their leadership to come onboard with `mission'.