Michael (Mike) Frost, founding director of the Tinsley Institute at Morling College, is one of the most influential and considered thinkers and authors around missiology today. He knows the benefits of a small experimental ‘simple church‘, as he was part of one for 15 years. On March 18th this year, Mike wrote on his public Facebook page: “This lockdown could be the very thing that forces churches to rediscover their missional identity aside from reliance on big Sunday gatherings.” We recently spoke with Mike about how the pandemic has shaken things up for the church in our new podcast, Forming Church.
In the episode, Mike talks about how the pandemic has revealed that nothing replaces actual physical presence – but that’s not to say we can’t make use of technology. “There is so much information available to Christians about every topic, but one of the biggest issues is: ‘Can someone be a narrator for me to help weed out and find what’s the good material on this?’“, Mike says. “What if churches started using online educational software? Meeting online for a quiz, posting a 10-minute talk to stimulate thinking, or sending an article to read…You could develop all sorts of resources that allow congregations to be shepherded by you, but to access that in their own time and in a way that is convenient to their style of learning.”
Mike also talks about how lockdown has positively resulted in a rethink of evangelism, saying: “I’ve been seeing people taking their kids out to do chalk messages on the footpath, letter-box dropping their neighbours with their phone number in case they need anything, or picking up medication for the elderly couple across the road. And now they’re all like, ‘Where did you learn this sense of neighbourliness from? What motivated you to want to do this kind of thing?’ And we’re discovering that there’s a great deal of goodwill around the idea of, ‘There might actually be a group in our neighbourhood that’s talking about love, care, relationships, service and humility. I didn’t really know the neighbours across the road were Christians, but now that’s being uncovered.'”
You can listen to Mike’s full interview here.
Featuring Jamie Freeman, Pip Miner & Ken Kamau from our Gen1K Mission team, the ‘Forming Church’ podcast explores what evangelism could look like in our rapidly changing world, resourcing the next generation of church planters and urban missionaries. If you’re a pastor, church planter or ministry leader keen to connect with others and discuss missional conversations that have kicked off from the podcast, request to join our Facebook group here.
(The Forming Church Podcast is sponsored by Baptist Financial Services)