There’s been a lot of talk in evangelical churches over the last few years – particularly charismatic evangelical churches – about the importance of community engagement. From the conference podium to the bookstall, church leaders are bombarded by the message of social transformation as the new imperative of their mission. Twenty years ago, perhaps, some of this thinking would have been considered suspiciously liberal and held at several motorways’ length. We can be thankful that this is no longer the case, and that churches which previously ignored the social impact of the Gospel are now seeing how essential it is to the disciple-making fullness of the Great Commission. Calls now abound to serve the city, to seek its peace and prosperity, to be a blessing to it, to get involved within it, regardless of the tangible evangelistic harvest, because doing good is simply what Christians do. This is very true, and this message is still in need of full implementation right across the pews and pulpits of this country. However, what many seem to have forgotten is that this is not a new idea. We’ve been here before, in the very churches from which we fled – churches which, at their worst, cherished their place in and for the public community so much so that they forgot to keep converting it.
Like I said, on the day of the Referendum I was thinking about Anglicanism.