I’m getting into Steve Aisthorpe’s book, ‘The Invisible Church – Learning from the experience of religionless Christians’
It is of course an alluring prospect – that many of those who may have quietly walked away from the churches or not walked into them in the first place may carry faith which they choose not to express in membership of a congregation; that decline is ‘apparent’. So we might see our challenges as being as much about belonging as about believing.
There is careful research here – rather than wishful thinking. But I’ll look forward to exploring the obvious questions such as: is membership of the visible community of faith essential to Christian belief and practice; and how should churches respond to churchless faith.
Some year ago I was a member of a Baptist church.
But one day out of the blue the minister told me that I had been removed from the members roll because I had not been attending enough meetings.
I had no warning of this beforehand and no pastoral visit afterward to see how I was doing. I felt deeply hurt and was very distressed.
All in all it was a graceless act to get rid of me because I am a Traveller.
After a while I realized that I didn’t need anyone’s approval or permission to be a Christian.
The Holy Spirit is at work in the world after all that’s where the people are.
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