by David Lundy
“Borderless” is an arresting attempt to describe churches which are different, where their leaders think strategically and where the output is not the traditional church experience.
Authentic Media, P.O. Box 1047, Waynesboro, GA 30830, 2006, 244 pages, $14.99.
—Reviewed by Peter Brierley, executive director, Christian Research, London, UK.
David Lundy is currently the international director of Arab World Ministries, having worked with Operation Mobilization for many years, including serving as their Canadian director. He has been in missions for quite some time and has experience of the issues facing both missions and the Church today. He writes out of that knowledge in a fascinating, insightful and helpful way.
“Borderless” is an arresting attempt to describe churches which are different, where their leaders think strategically and where the output is not the traditional church experience. Lundy describes some of these, one of which is the ten thousand-member Mars Hill church in Michigan, which meets in a shopping mall with lively services and a strong sense of community. In the United Kingdom words like “mission-shaped” or “emerging” churches are used for these “fresh expressions” of what church may be all about. The change is recognized in academic circles also. For example, Professor Paul Heelas, in his book The Spiritual Revolution, calls them congregations of “experiential difference.”
Borderless churches have emerged out of the postmodern urban world (both elements of which are well described in the book) with an unambiguous Christology of the uniqueness of Christ (to which also a chapter is devoted). Borderless churches have a sense of belonging about them. They empower the laity and there is holistic ministry. At the same time the word of God is clear and interfaith dialogue may be friendly but not deviant from the truths of the Christian faith.
The book is relevant for churches in all Western countries. Lundy is concerned to show the emptiness of many church excuses for getting involved in radical, long-term mission involvement. He knocks the “importance” of glib triumphalism, the misreading of basic statistics, the unwillingness to get radically involved, the opting-out of short-term visits and the practice of providing cash instead of people. Lundy also deals courageously with the mistakes of parachurch agencies.
This is a practical book. Examples of churches in the USA, UK and Canada show the implications of Lundy’s concern. It is no wonder that George Verwer says of this book, “This message is urgently needed in the Church today.” Borderless churches may be the lifeblood of the future church, where worship is central, holistic community action is necessary and strategic thinking in leadership is vital.
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