homepage contact us eLearning courses

[ vision ]

view through arch windowThe vision for this venture is something akin to an upside-down church.  Much of the thinking behind this site and its sister eLearning site www.equipforministry.org comes out of debate in the church in recent decades, trying to affirm every-member ministry, the priesthood of all believers, the ministry of the whole people of God and other expressions of the same concept.  It has also been stimulated by reading and study about cell church.  There are legitimate questions about whether or not a North American or South Korean cell church model can work without adaptation in other cultures.  But the concept of a church where all the central life of the church - people, plant, activity - exists to resource the people of God to live Christianly in the world has very much to commend it.  This is somewhat different to models of church in which the laity are involved in the central life of the church by being licensed to preach, or to assist with the pastoral work.

This does not mean that no activity should happen in the centre, or that the church should not gather.  A balanced church will have the right mix of up - in - out activity (‘up’ in worship, ‘in’ in nurture and building a caring community, ‘out’ in social responsibility and evangelism).  But all is targeted on seeing God's kingdom come, day by day, both in the church and in the world.  As the priest said to dismiss the congregation at the end of the service we attended in France recently, “Bonne semaine” (have a good week). 

This is saying nothing more than the key verse of scripture 1 Peter 2:9: you are a ... royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

The ‘priesthood of all believers’ is, of course, much written about.  So much so that one hardly needs to make a theological case for all baptised Christians to be viewed as ministers.  Yet if the report Called to New Life prepared for the Board of Education of the Church of England 5  is anything to go by, we are a tragically long way from all believers even feeling entitled to minister God's grace.  Perhaps, along with the growing amount of books and educational resource material that is appearing, this web site may have a small part to play in every Christian knowing that they are 'called to the ministry', and equipped to serve that calling.