First Century Christianity
Gibbon concluded that Christianity in the first century flourished for 5 reasons: (1) their intolerant religious zeal, (2) doctrine of immortality of the soul, (3) miraculous power, (4) pure morals, (5) unity and discipline. Justin referred to many who have, "changed their violent and tyrannical disposition, being overcome either by the constancy which they have witnessed in the lives of their Christian neighbors, or by the extraordinary forbearance they have observed in their Christian fellow travelers when defrauded, and by the honesty of those believers with whom they have transacted business."
Phil has been talking about Mission and how we can be missional by the witness and worship of our communities. Richard has similarly been blogging about the emerging church. I have to admit to being rather humbled by the eloquence and thoroughness of their discussions on it. I know I should read round these things more and then I might get it a bit more but I find myself distracted by many things (Yes I can be too Martha-like!) and don't read as much wisdom on this as I should.
I've been reflecting on it all and thinking about how I can start realising our vision for this year with our youthwork at All Saints':
To empower leaders, especially young leaders and NEW leaders
To focus on discipleship
To be missional in our work
All motherhood and apple pie stuff as a friend of mine would say (and in fact maybe he did!) but I do truly believe this must be at the heart of what we're about in our youth work at All Saints'. In fact I forget it myself all too often and get sucked into STUFF. Particularly relevant as I try and work out how to talk about the importance of community with our young people who come from fairly disparate backgrounds nowadays.
And I've got it. The idea has crystallised and I can't believe I didn't think about it before. JAFFA CAKES! Hurrah!