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October 1st, 2015

A Black Majority Perspective on Mission & Unity

Partnership In Mission

What does the future of the UK church look like?

What is the black majority church and how does it feature in the bigger picture?

How is it partnering in mission with the wider world?

What dynamic is created by the presence of Black Majority Churches?

Want to know what the future of the UK church looks like? Put simply, it looks multi-ethnic.

Church growth in the UK is argued by some commentators to be dominated by the myriad of Black Majority Churches (BMC) which continue to spring up in this country. These churches have played and continue to play a significant role in the history of the British church, encompassing a wide range of theologies, structures, missiologies, cultures and ethnicities.

Yet many in the wider church are unfamiliar with BMC and while some might welcome the energy and creativity they bring others might equally take the view that they can be divisive.

Of chief importance is the question of unity and what impact BMC are having in the area of ecumenism. How are they partnering in mission with the wider UK church?

Written from a Black Majority Church perspective the primary purpose of this book is to look at the intercultural ecumenism emerging between BMC and Historic Churches. Israel Olofinjana explores how Black Majority Churches at national, regional and local levels are working in partnership with non-African Christians in the historic and mainstream churches in Britain.

In doing this he asks: ‘What is the BMC? How heterogeneous is the movement?  How can Black Majority Churches and other groups partner to effect structural and institutional change in our culturally and ethnically diverse society?’

He covers the history and diversity of BMC in London and their development from being migrant sanctuaries to undergoing a theological shift that is enabling them to engage in holistic mission. Readers are invited to jointly experience the riches of multicultural Christian expressions in faith and practice.

Dr Kate Coleman, founder of next Leadership, says: ‘Israel’s latest offering goes the extra mile, beyond documentation, by proposing insightful and pragmatic ways that UK  Christians can further express the prophetic nature of what must inevitably be increasingly creative and diverse expressions of mission and ministry in the unfolding history of the United Kingdom’.

 

What reviewers think:

‘The rise of the BMC,  their spread and growth, life and vitality, is the great untold story of British Christianity in the last three decades, and is vital to understanding the current and future shape of the church. In this book, Rev Olofinjana proves himself again one of the most capable and lucid interpreters of the BMC scene. Here he turns to ecumenical relationships, particularly to the good things that have happened between BMC and historic churches over the years.’

Dr Stephen Holmes, Senior Lecturer in Theology, St Andrews University

‘This book is thoroughly researched and excellently and factually presented. I pray that the content of this book will further remind its readers about Christ’s prayer for the unity of His church and help us to accept and embrace one another in love.’

Father Olu Abiola, General Superintendent of Aladura International Church and President of Council of African and Afro-Caribbean Churches UK

‘Israel’s claim that “It will now be impossible to write the history of the church in Britain without proper reference to Black Majority Churches” is both true and important.

Dr Lucy Peppiatt, Principal, Westminster Theological Centre

‘Contributions to world Christianity by Christians in and from Africa have been immense. These contributions benefit all Christians, no matter where they live. I warmly recommend this book to all concerned readers and practitioners.’

Reverend Professor Daniel Jeyaraj, Professor, World Christianity & Director

of Andrew Walls Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity, Liverpool Hope University

‘Not many people have been able to explore and articulate the distinctiveness and peculiarity of Black Majority and ethnic churches as Israel has clearly done in his book. The book can help leaders who are dreaming of integration and how to get along with people, churches and para-churches that are vastly different from them.

Rev Yemi Adedeji, Director, One People Commission, Evangelical Alliance 

‘Israel’s presentations then and his book now display a wide knowledge of the history of BMC, a keen awareness of where they are and what they are doing today, a good discernment of the issues they face and a challenging assessment of what those of us in the long-established churches could do.’

John Richardson, Ecumenical Officer, Churches Together in South London

About the author

Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a Black Majority multicultural, multi-ethnic intergenerational church in south east London, and director of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World. He has authored several books on the subject of reverse mission.

Partnership In Mission is published by Instant Apostle and is available online and from bookshops.

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