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23 October 2011


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Peter Dominey

Good to hear of BMS heart for the margins and shared vision with those on the same path in the UK.

David Kerrigan

Thanks Peter - may CFS and all the other stuff you're involved in - prosper.

Chris Duffett

Thank you for this post David.

So good to read and to be reminded of the amazing work of Urban Expressions. I also have a heart for the heart of our cities despite living in a rural context!- I shared 4 convictions I have about the gospel for the city centers at a recent EA council meeting...

Anyhoo- thanks again!

Account Deleted

Good to read about your adventures with Urban Expressions - we recently got to know a member of the Spurgeons College team who is a part of the East London Urban Expressions team. Fascinating to talk with him about some of these issues, incarnational mission and re-imagining church.

I was especially interested by your reflections on mission and theology, and how the two interact:

"And how does this kind of mission affect your theology? This is a favourite of mine – seeing again and again how our once watertight doctrinal formulations leak like a sieve once we actually sit down and get to know the kind of people our theology sometimes alienates."

I wonder whether we need to differentiate theology from missiology (or eccesiology I suppose). I suspect that, very often, our theology is not well expressed in our practice,- leading to the alienation you've mentioned. We could also question whether, if our theology alienates people, have we got it right? Or are there cases when we need to allow our theology to challenge cultural values and - perhaps - allow it to be seen in some sense as 'alienating'?

'How does this kind of mission affect our theology' is a penetrating question - but so is the opposite question: "how does your theology affect your mission?"

For us here in Thailand, we've found our theology being challenged by what we see and experience of engagement with local culture: the Thai emphasis on the value and power of community, for example, constantly challenges our highly individualistic understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ. At the same time, though, our theology - what we humbly believe to be true things about God, his kingdom and his kingdom people - can also bring us into places where we have no option but to object, (as gently/gracefully as we can!) to certain aspects or values of this culture.

How do we handle the perceived 'alienation' that may (and does) result from that sort of situation? There's a delicate and fascinating interaction in all that between our theology and our missiology - and both need our careful attention!

Thought-provoking indeed! Thank you for your reflections.



Great blog, only just been able to comment, as I have limited internet access. But wondered whether it would be possible for a BMS action team to be based either with UE or part of an urban area in the UK.

I am currently studying at Bristol Baptist College, having previously worked with the WEBA iniative re:Source Bristol (www.resourcebristol.org), I am hoping to do my NAM's in an Urban Church, and it would be great if a BMS action team was released to serve in an UPA in the UK.

Michael Shaw,
Associate Missional Pastor (in Training)
East Street Baptist Church
07958 408 551
[email protected]

David Kerrigan

Chris - enjoyed the video!

Pete and Liz - your para that begins "For is here in Thailand..." captures the tension. We go into a situation as messengers and ambassadors, entrusted with this ministry, albeit it in jars of clay. And along the way we too are changed. And in the process of becoming changed people, so our theological insights (and sometimes, but not always, our convictions) get changed too. Wasn't this the Peter & Cornelius encounter. And so the process goes on going on: 'encounter-transformation-fresh encounter- further transformation' and so on.

Mike - apart from the hat, your post was an encouragement!! And believe it or not the idea of a UK based action team is, so I'm told, being considered somewhere within BMS right now.


mmm, great post. One of my most favourite emails to receive are the updates I get from from Clay Community Church, the UE team in Possil, Glasgow. They are such encouraging emails, and your post reminded me why I love getting them so much (and email the team to tell them) - the living Christ within these guys really impacts vulnerable children, lonely young parents, lends a hand in local schools, changes physically rundown areas, (the back-green gardening is one of my favurite transformation stories!) and offers friendship, hope and new life in the context of service.



I was wearing the hat while out in Peru earlier this year with a BMS mission trip as part of my time at BBC. Scott Williamson brought us all hats to wear so that we could encourage some of the local kids to come along to a fun morning of games we were doing, so you can blame Scott for that.

I am glad you are thinking of doing a UK based Action Tea.


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