Steve Midgley introduces our 2022 residential conference, Talking Church
Like many others, the past 18 months have given me a new appreciation of the importance of church.
The loss of so many of the ordinary elements of church – meeting and talking together, singing and worshipping in community – left a tremendous gap. God has certainly been at work through ‘online church’ meetings and Zoom small groups and all the rest, but we all know there’s been something missing. God has called us to be part of the body of Christ. He hasn’t ultimately called believers into individual communion with Himself but into the community of faith.
I’ve known, and taught, that for years. But now I understand it more clearly and more fully than I ever have before. The absence, or at least the impoverishment, of those relational elements of church has been hugely instructive.
No surprise, then, that when we considered the focus for the next BCUK national conference, church was top of our agenda. We have re-discovered the value of community and I am looking forward to seeing how this conference can help us think together about how to do church even better. Talking Church will explore the central place that conversation has in the life of the church. All conversations – complicated and simple; long and short; expert and ordinary.
We’ll revisit familiar Bible passages, and perhaps see some of them in a new light this side of the pandemic. And we are looking forward to talking together. We’ll have discussion in seminars and in our free time and we’ll use role plays to provide worked examples.
We want Talking Church to be a hands-on exploration of all that it means to be a church that does its talking well.