Recent years have seen an increase in books and blogs on what the church is and how we can move from being primarily focused on just programs to focusing on what the Bible teaches about what a church should be. Continuing in this recent trend is seasoned Pastors Tim Chester and Steve Timmis wrote Total Church and now Everyday Church. Total Church argued that the Christian gospel and the Christian community should be central to every aspect of life and mission. Everyday Church builds on that foundation by calling for the Church to be an everyday church with an everyday mission. The focus of this book is a call to shift our focus from putting on events to creating attractional communities. This book calls Christians to rediscover the missional call of the people of God in order to recover witness to Christ muddied by nominal Christianity. The book does this by expositing the book of 1st Peter a book that calls Christians and the Church to be in the world but not of the world by being salt and light in the world.
One of the things I appreciated the most about this book is the following statement: “We need to do church and mission in the context of everyday life. We can no longer think of church as a meeting on a Sunday morning. We must think of church as a community of people who share life, ordinary life. And we cannot think of mission as an event that takes place in an ecclesiastical building. Of course, there will continue to be a role for special events, but the bedrock of mission will be ordinary life. Mission must be done primarily in the context of everyday life. An everyday church with an everyday mission” (28).
What I just quoted is a need perspective in the current conversation on the nature of the Church. The Church has been charged with a message that reaches the lost, mends the broken hearted and calls the hard-hearted out of rebellion and into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are not to be “church-hoppers”, or isolate themselves in a “Christian cliché” or even isolate themselves at home on Sunday or throughout the week, but rather to join in genuine heartfelt worship and fellowship with God and one another in community with the people of God. The point of “an everyday church with an everyday mission” is an important one because many think that everything is to be done by the elders, deacons and Pastors of local churches when in fact the average lay person preaches far more through how they work, and how they live to the lost in their work places everyday than church officers ever do. The fact that Christians have been charged with a mission from God and empowered by the Holy Spirit means they are to take seriously the message and adopt a lifestyle that conforms to the message they believe (the Gospel). It’s not just a “Gospel life” that we are to live, but rather a life that is founded upon the Gospel that impacts the way we live.
Everyday Church is a helpful book that builds upon the foundation of Total Church which helped me think through more of what a Church should be like. Everyday Church is equally an important book that needs to be considered by those thinking through what the Church is and how we can reach our culture for Christ. At the heart of this book as with at the heart of what Christians are to proclaim is the Gospel. What we believe about the Gospel must affect how we live. Thankfully this is precisely where Everyday Church excels at balancing what we should believe with how we are to live which in and of itself is needed in contemporary Christian thinking. I recommend seminary students, Pastors and lay Christians read Everyday Church to gain insight into how the Gospel should ground our lives in Christ and also our witness to the world for the Gospel.
Author: Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Publisher: Crossway (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”