“Programs are what we create when Christians are not doing what they’re supposed to do in everyday life.”
–Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Everyday Church
For those of us who follow the Lord Jesus Christ, we are the recipients of some gracious benefits from God. Salvation. Eternal life. A heavenly family. Empowerment through the Spirit. And these are to name just a few of the benefits we’ve received. I don’t know about you, but I for one know that I can’t keep the good news to myself. I want others to experience the same amazing stuff that I have. But the perennial issue is this: how do I go about bringing the gospel to other people especially in a world that seems quite hostile to Christianity? How do we reach our family members, friends, classmates, and co-workers for Christ? Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis presents a working framework on how to bring the gospel to people especially in this post-Christendom context we find ourselves in.
I must have read this book at least twice. Maybe even thrice. It’s that good. It’s that important. Everyday Church is one of a handful of books that I recommend to others on a regular basis. Whenever people start talking about being missional or reaching their neighborhood or doing more evangelism, I point them right away to this book. I find it to be an excellent primer on the whole missional idea. As the title of the book suggests, Chester and Timmis challenge readers to adopt an “everyday” mentality and approach to “church.” Church (which inherently includes evangelism, discipleship, pastoral care, etc.) can and should happen within the context of ordinary everyday life. Church isn’t just about organized events, programs, and activities that happen on a particular day and at a specific location. Church can happen at our homes, at school, at the workplace, at the coffee shop, at the park, at the gym, and at the grocery store. The book challenges us to see all of life—everyday life—as avenues for the gospel to be learned and lived out.
This book relates well to a lot of what we’ve been talking about in this blog. If we’re going to adopt an everyday approach to church, it’s going to be important for us to begin simplifying our lives. And that’s because it can take a good amount of time, energy, and money to live out the gospel in an everyday fashion. We’re going to be regularly inviting people to our homes for dinner. We’re going to be at coffee shops a lot to get to know people better. We’re going to journey with people at the gym or at the grocery store or around the water dispenser at work. And so anything we can do to free up time, energy, and money will help us maximize whatever opportunities we get to meet with people in real and ordinary contexts.
If you’re wondering how to reach people for Christ in this difficult post-Christendom context, Everyday Church will provide you with an excellent starting point.