Like all social movements faith communities have a tendency to ossify – to morph into solid institutions – as they grow. Guarding their ‘success’ and protecting their ‘power’ the transformative capacity of faith-based social movements can be swamped, smothered and lost. What remains are often glimpses of that vision, that radicalism but little more.
In the city of the 21st century the Christian Church is either limping towards the end of the road marked ‘Christendom’ and slow death OR is in the brink of rediscovering its calling to be yeast and salt in the city – the site of liberative social capital and a movement again of and for those most left out and left behind.
Last month I gave a guest lecture for the Liverpool Diocese of the Church of England entitled ‘Church as a Movement for the Excluded’ in which I reflect on some of these challenges – What kind of church will emerge in the city as the 21st century develops? Click here to see the full text of my lecture.