The impetus for setting up the site came from a number of factors.
1 I am passionate about ecumenical ventures and churches that are prepared to 'take risks for God'. 2 It's also because I have first-hand experience and knowledge of (and enthusiasm for) the Bolivian initiative (see later in this site), that I support the concept of Integral Church and Integral Mission in any way I can - because I believe it is from God. 3 In my local town in England two of the Reformed churches have come together as one church - an LEP. As part of this process they are going back to basics and asking themselves questions such as : ----What is church? ----How can we best serve this town and 'be Jesus' in the community? ----How can we be a more effective witness to the people of this community as one gathered church rather than 2-3 separate, similar churches?'
I believe that developments such as this are the way forward and incorporate into them many of the ideas brought together in this website about integrated mission - something which doesn't have to be in far-off lands, but equally apply to one's own backyard, the communities where we live in whatever country, third-world, first-world, westernised or not.
The circles at the top of this page represent different ways of thinking about relationships : --- the relationship between God and Man(which is which of the smaller circle and the larger outer one?) --- the relationship between church and community (ditto).
The term Integral Church has different meanings for different groups. Some see it as a transforming of Christ-consciousness, an internal process of growth. Others see it as a coming together of different strands of Christianity - or even different approaches to Spirituality (different faiths perhaps). Yet others see the term as meaning a 'bringing together in one place all that we offer'.
For some the term Integral Church has different meanings; this website focuses on the idea that a key expression of is that it is community-based work and witness.
That final sentence of the definition of Integral on the Home page resonates with some of St Paul's words in Romans 12:4-5:- "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function; so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others".
And in 1 Corinthians 12 v 12 - "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ." (and see vv 13-27 as well).
The focus (as in Romans 12 and 1 Cor 12) is on all things working together; nothing is separate. If our vision of church follows this model, then all that we do in the name of Jesus will be, effectively, 'church', whether it is organising football for 10-year olds, befriending older folk, a listening ear for young mums - or operating a baby-sitting circle....it is all 'church'. It doesn't need a building (neither large nor small), but it will need some degree of structure and accountability to a leadership team. It would therefore be wise if that leadership team is also accountable to a church structure of some kind - though it has to be said that hierarchical, organised, institutionalised religion is for some rather less than positive.