Blended A Call to Reimagine Our Church Family

Rethinking how we can be church together

Eleanor Bird

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In order for us to see nations changed, we need to see the full body of Christ rise up together across all ages, to walk and minister shoulder to shoulder. Blended invites us to see that it is not only necessary, but possible. No matter what size community or denomination we belong to, this book gives us ways of seeing and doing church together with a new heart that will reap great rewards for the kingdom.
Rachel Turner, author and speaker

Content

Church as we know it is changing... with conversations and initiatives bubbling up around how our churches can be truly intergenerational, functioning in close and loving community as the body of Christ. Eleanor Bird speaks into the debate with a challenge to rethink our work with all ages from the ground up, offering practical observations drawn from her experience of developing children's and youth ministry in a local church context, together with a biblically based framework for how this thinking can be taken forward in your church.

Eleanor Bird is Head of Children and Youth Ministry at St Chad's Romiley in Greater Manchester, overseeing all ministries with two to 19-year-olds. She has been involved in children's work leadership since she was twelve and in full-time ministry since the age of 21, leading children's venues for New Wine and workshops and seminars for leaders across the UK.

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Endorsements

In order for us to see nations changed, we need to see the full body of Christ rise up together across all ages, to walk and minister shoulder to shoulder. Blended invites us to see that it is not only necessary, but possible. No matter what size community or denomination we belong to, this book gives us ways of seeing and doing church together with a new heart that will reap great rewards for the kingdom.
Rachel Turner, author and speaker

Author info

Eleanor Bird is Head of Children and Youth Ministry at St Chad's Romiley in Greater Manchester, overseeing all ministries with two to 19-year-olds. She has been involved in children's work leadership since she was twelve and in full-time ministry since the age of 21, leading children's venues for New Wine and workshops and seminars for leaders across the UK

Reviews

Methodist Recorder 13 May 2016

HERE'S another of those paperbacks whose title alone makes you believe it might provide the answer to all the challenges facing the life of your local church. Blended - A Call to Reimagine our Church Family by Eleanor Bird (brf, 8.99), subtitled "Rethinking how we can be church together", is about investigating a "new way of being God's family". And in the ensuing 14 chapters there is much to give church leaders a lot of food for thought. When you realise that the author is "head of children and youth ministry" at a thriving Anglican church in Romiley, Greater Manchester, overseeing all ministries with two- to 19-year-olds, you have a good idea of what it is all about. In fact, this book could be the answer to your prayers!

John Singleton


The Well magazine. The Methodist Church Summer 2016

In Blended, Eleanor Bird invites us to reimagine a new way of being Church together: a Church that no longer divides by age lines but instead embraces being a community of different generations. For too long, she says, Christian communities have been separated; children, youth and adults each following their own programmes. Her vision is one where the lines drawn between these groups become blurred; rubbed away to become a more unified and connected body of believers.

The focus of Bird's book is the times when church communities gather for worship. Her philosophy is built on four key values:
not calling Church 'work; '
giving everyone in church equal influence;
training when apart, for the times we gather as Church;
making the most of the times we gather to experiment and explain what's happening.

These building blocks underpin all that Church is and does. They serve to create a community that thrives in worship, both when together and apart. So the times when groups pursue their own programme are seen as vital opportunities to prepare and develop understanding for when all gather together. She advocates a model in which style and content are gradually merged, helping worship times become increasingly seamless.

This emphasis on worship (in the narrow sense of sung worship and teaching) is central in developing a more cohesive church community. Bird makes the case for church to embrace its whole spectrum of family, yet the question remains what form this may take beyond Sunday services. What the features of a blended church might be outside of these times is the next natural field to explore.

Bird's personal testimony and experience are threads throughout the book, this adds an authentic dimension when she recounts how her own faith and understanding developed. As readers, we're urged to join her on this road of discovery that sees God's kingdom grow in our churches and beyond.

Gail Adcock, Methodist Family Ministry Development Officer


Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857461124
  • Published: 23 October 2015
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
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