‘Church’ and ‘transformation’ are two words that have become inextricably linked in the thinking and practice of those committed to an Integral approach to mission. As evangelicals have increased their engagement with society both within the UK and globally the conviction that the local church is God’s primary agent of transformation in the world has taken root.
Churches have taken different approaches to this engagement seeking to fulfil their mandate to be an agent of both spiritual and social transformation within their local communities and beyond, living out the Gospel in all its fullness. Many para-church and development organisations have shifted their focus, with the equipping and mobilisation of the local church becoming a primary aim of their work. A wide variety of initiatives, approaches and materials have been developed and used to this end, by a range of agencies and groups, in a variety of contexts.
The purpose of this residential forum is to bring together the different actors in these initiatives from both the church and organisational context and take an in-depth look at this phenomenon. Theologically we will examine the biblical mandate of the local church in society, with a particular focus on the local. Practically we will seek to learn from the different approaches being used by bringing together a range of voices and perspectives.
By learning from our diverse experiences we will seek to examine the strengths and challenges of different approaches and identify key principles that should guide our work as, or with, local churches and challenge some of the assumptions that can underlie this work.
This forum is relevant to anyone committed to seeing the local church act as an agent of change in society. Participants will be equipped with both a better understanding of the theological rationale of the local church engaging with their community, as well as principles and tools for doing this more effectively.
Speakers will be announced in due course but will include presenters form a wide range of organisations and churches who have been involved in church community engagement in a variety of contexts. Booking will open soon; in the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact Sophia Browne: email@example.com.