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25 October 2012

Celebrating 30 years of mission at work

Celebrating 30 years of mission at work

“One of the major reasons why people reject the Gospel today is not because they perceive it to be false, but because they perceive it to be trivial.”

These are the words of Rev John Stott, founder of the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), which is celebrating 30 years of working to break down the separation between our spiritual and secular lives.

Because if churches and Christians think and act as if our faith and our everyday lives are distinct, it is little wonder that others see our beliefs as irrelevant.

Mark Green, the executive director of LICC, said: "Home, neighbourhood, workplaces, overseas - the mission of God embraces every context. Imagine if local churches really equipped their people for mission in the places they spend 95 per cent of their waking time: what a difference if would make to our nation!

“What a joy for God's people to recognise God with them in all things! That's what LICC is committed to - the release of God's people into greater fruitfulness for him and deeper relationship with him - wherever they are."

LICC’s work has grown out of an acknowledgement that while churches support their congregations to serve specific missions, they often don’t receive encouragement to consider their everyday work and activities as opportunities to live out their faith. As a result, numerous Christians are missing chances to share their beliefs.

LICC works in a number of ways. It produces a number of resources, such as the Word for the Week, articles, and book reviews to help people discern the relevance of what the bible says in their own lives. It runs a five-day course called Toolbox, which aims to train people to interpret the bible and engage with contemporary culture accordingly, and the newly launched Executive Toolbox, which is training designed for Christians in mid to senior level positions of influence.

Other than equipping those in the work place themselves, LICC also wants to help churches. Its Imagine Project aims to help churches to be ‘disciple-making communities’ where people can be both resourced before and encouraged after working on the ‘frontlines’ of their everyday lives. After eight years of working with churches, LICC has created DVDs and resources, puts on training workshops and sends its Imagine Associates to visit churches.

One person who has engaged with LICC is Hester, a primary school teacher who said: “In the last four years of my life, the wisdom and narrative of LICC has profoundly changed my practice of faith and my view of God.

“They have given me the skills and tools I need to see and recognise the potential in my school week and use that to run a basic introduction to Christianity course for the staff team. LICC has given me eyes to see that the Lord reigns and speaks into my engagement, my family, my friendships, my church; into my whole life.”