The Sacred Overlap- by J.R. Briggs
The widening of political, racial, generational, and religious differences often leads to an “us vs. them” mentality all too common today. In The Sacred Overlap, author J.R. Briggs communicates a refreshing vision that embraces tension and calls us to live in radical love and faithfulness between the extremes that isolate and divide people.
Read the gospels and you’ll see how Jesus was committed to crossing cultural, social, political and religious either/or waters, engaging in many and/also activities. He comforted the disturbed and also disturbed the comfortable. He was too religious for the pagans and also too pagan for the religious elites. He hung out with filthy lepers and also dined with the filthy rich. He was alarming and disarming at the same time.
This is not a spineless embrace of religious syncretism where we take bits from world religions, personal preferences, and ideologies and throw them into a cosmic blender for a tasty theological smoothie. Instead, Briggs offers a fresh understanding of evangelism and discipleship, showing how we need to be engaged in both of these at the same time. He shares creative ways to engage with God’s mission with those who are intrigued about Jesus, but turned off by church. He explores what it means to be joyful in the midst of heart wrenching pain and suffering in the world. And he models what it means to maintain a posture of convicted civility which emphasizes equally both grace and truth.
The Sacred Overlap helps readers see that Christians are called to live with their feet firmly planted in two different worlds–in both heaven and earth–living naturally with grace and truth. Only then can a Christian be a faithful witness in the way of Jesus.
How to Pioneer- by David Male
Small new Christian communities created by pioneer ministers, both lay and ordained, are popping up everywhere – on housing estates, in community centers, schools, cafes, among different age groups and in numerous other contexts beyond the local church. This practical book is for all who are engaged in this form of ministry and it begins by identifying some basic principles from a wide variety of creative examples of pioneer ministry.
Illustrated with actual examples throughout, it explores
• how to ‘listen’ to the physical, social and spiritual environment of a local context
• how to discern a community’s needs and the appropriate missional response
• how to build a creative team
• the art of the start – how to begin well
• how to build relationships and create community by acts of authentic love
• how to become and stay Jesus-centred
• how to live and tell the gospel in meaningful ways
• how to grow disciples
• how to stay fresh