Mind The Gap

You know those times when someone captures and articulates what you are feeling and thinking, in more succinct clear and concise way? This is exactly what Trevor Neil has done in his new book, ‘Bridging The Gaps’, in which he gives us the language and vocabulary to voice and explore the tensions between the established church and the cultural context we exist in. It’s a fascinating read – not always comfortable and potentially very challenging to members or committed regular attenders of a local church.

For a while now I’ve been unable to put helpful voice to the tension I feel that many of our churches are still  run and organised with a heavy reliance on day time volunteers, even though changing work patterns and family commitments has greatly affected the number of volunteers available. Another tension is that our understanding of regular attendance commitment has changed for many people with sports, shopping, work, family or simply relaxing at home taking priority over the Sunday service.  ‘Bridging the Gaps’ acknowledges the discomfort and whilst deliberately not offering silver bullet problem solving solutions, suggests helpful ways of engaging and discussing these tensions.

His analysis on the consumer problem of church shopping is insightful as he explores the growing trend of people being attracted to the church with the liveliest music, lights, smoke machines and trendy preachers as opposed to the strength and support of a local church community.

Trevor’s book is written with the experience and wisdom of ministry, leading churches with a particular emphasis on social action based evangelism and so he writes with considerable integrity about an area he knows well. Each chapter ends with questions that could form the basis of a very interesting growth group discussion or conversation with friends or colleagues.

I first met Trevor about 15 years ago when his church supported our mission work in Albania and Trevor was organising a team visit to serve with us at Light of the World church.  A few years later Trevor’s wife came to asses the homeless shelter we were running in Torquay and so I was really thrilled when Trevor moved to lead the team at Selsdon Baptist Church shortly after we moved to Redhill.

The CLT are all reading the book and will be discussing the chapter questions each month when we meet together. If you’d like to read a copy, I have one or two spares, otherwise I can put you in touch with the author. It is better to buy direct from him than the behemoth online book seller named after a south American jungle.

Have a great weekend and hope to see you Sunday

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s