Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Do you believe the time is coming where the church in America is going to have to make some changes with how it attempts to reach non-believers with the Gospel? Do you believe the church in America can continue to wait for the world to come darken its doors? Do you believe that we might be missing something if that is our mindset? According to Everyday Church, 85 million Americans will never come to church. There are various reasons why they will never come to church but that is not the point. The point here is that if we continue to wait for the church to come to us, we will basically miss any opportunity to share the gospel with much of the population. With that mindset, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis approach the topic of how to really do church. With that said, this review is going to be brief but not because there is not much to include. The opposite is true in that there is so much truth within these pages, you will need to pick it up for yourself.
Everyday Church is basically an exposition of 1 Peter. Steve and Tim do an amazing job of breaking down the text and helping the reader understand it from the early church perspective and then applying it to our current culture. They make a point I believe many modern day American Christians would not necessarily agree with in that they say Christians today have been pushed to the margins. No longer are Christians sought after for wisdom and ideas. We are no longer at the center of the culture. We have been pushed to the edges and whenever we speak up, people want us to just go back to our buildings and leave them alone. They want us to stop “judging” them. The best defense Christians have for the faith is Christians truly living out their faith. If we are not living in such a way to make Christ look attractive, then why would the world want to believe? The authors present the book of 1 Peter as the perfect guide to help us rediscover the way to really impact the world with the Gospel and it is through our everyday lives, not our events. Events can make an impact, but it is our lives that truly draw people to desire a relationship with the Lord.
One of the ways they encourage us to live the gospel every day is to stop creating groups in the church to ask non-believing friends to join, but instead to join groups in your community already formed. They encourage us to put more importance on the everyday living than on just the big events. They are not saying avoid them, but if we are to make a lasting impression on our communities, we will need to step outside our walls and meet people where they are.
Read some of the following quotes taken from the book:
“Christians are like immigrants, foreigners, temporary residents, refugees. We do not belong. We do not have the rights of citizens. We are outsiders. We are living on the edge of the culture.”
“We need to do church and mission in the context of everyday life…We must think of church as a community of people who share life, ordinary life. “
Speaking of Christians in our culture today, “We may not often be persecuted, but we are marginalized.”
“We cannot claim to be faithfully proclaiming the gospel to the lost through our Sunday preaching when most of the lost do not attend church. We need to do mission outside church and church events.”
“We need to discover or recover the sense that if this year we are not imprisoned, then it has been a good year in which by the grace of God, we have gotten off lightly.”
“Love and passion and enthusiasm are infectious…You will never attract people to Jesus if you are not excited about Jesus. Enthusiasm creates interest. Passion breeds passion. Loving Jesus is the antidote to legalism.”
The last part of this book I want to touch on in this review is here in this culture today, we need to stop believing that missionaries only need to be sent overseas to preach the Gospel. With 85 million Americans who will never go to church, it is time to start living as missionaries in our own culture. We need to recover the idea that this world is not our home, we are just passing through, and our mission in our short time here is to share the Gospel with the world around us. It takes our lives…the lives that happen Monday through Saturday, not just the life we live on Sunday.
Tim Chester and Steve Timmis have hit a home run with Everyday Church. As I look back through it, there is something underlined or highlighted on almost every page. This book is a must read for anyone serving in the ministry. Tim and Steve both live in Europe and their insights into the church there are profound. It has been said that if you want to see where America is going culturally, look at Europe. Because of this, I believe what Tim and Steve have experienced in Europe and write about will be extremely profitable for us here in America. And as I already said, if you serve in ministry in any capacity, this book is one you need to pick up. Not only will it open your eyes, it could help change how you see and do church.
Thanks for taking the time to read this review. Comments are welcome.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and feel free to leave comments or questions.