Newfrontiers Vision & Values | 1b. Building churches that are evangelistically relevant | Relevant by Terry Virgo & Simon Virgo


[Transcript of Video]

1. Building churches that are evangelistically relevant

b) Relational

>> Relational

>> Relevant

>> Evangelism

‘A gospel-preaching church that is loving, righteous in its lifestyle, involved in world mission and reaching the unsaved in its community by both public and personal activity.’

Simon Virgo, “Often when people become Christians they encounter Christ and it is Christ who wins them, and it is Christ who becomes their preoccupation, it is Christ they are excited about but often they are not necessarily excited about the church and the church can even be off putting was that your experience of church in the first place?”

Terry Virgo, “Yes that is a very good question. I think that is exactly how it was for me. I got saved in my home actually and for me to go to church was quite a strange phenomenon and of course church was quite different in those days. It was much more formal than it is now. But going to church was quite a feat actually walking into this place, finding where do you do, where do you sit, what do you do, and people standing up and sitting down and you know are gradually getting it.”

Simon Virgo, “It is like going to a betting shop and it being it is totally a different atmosphere. You know you walk in there is numbers on a screen. I don’t know what they mean, people standing here, people queuing here the whole thing is unfamiliar and often people come to the church and that is what they would feel like suppose.”

Terry Virgo, “Yeah I think you have to get used to it, you are kind of learning the rules and I think for me when you come in new. You are the new boy you don’t understand anything and so you just try to learn what is going on there. I think certainly as you go on and you begin to find your way and for me I was so helped by, I used to travel on a train everyday for an hour each way. I started reading Christian biography and feeling I identified with guys and I think, “oh I see where they are coming from, I see what motivated them.” I began to get my own motivations and then also a guy said to me, “come to my home any time.” Well my parents were not Christian so I had no background. So going to his home was terrific, I could ask any question I liked and we used to pray together which was again a new experience, and a Small Group started in his home which was I mean hugely life forming for me and so I began to get my own assessment of things, and I think if I hadn’t found that little home fellowship I am not sure I would have been able to keep going. I think church was too remote although the pastor was a great preacher and I really enjoyed listening to him but it was hard to get in, get in the culture, learn the language.”

Simon Virgo, “and I suppose you were wanting to see that relational authenticity brought into the strange context that you discovered church to be.”

Terry Virgo, “Yeah absolutely I think for me I really loved my old friends and we had been together for about 5 years when I got saved and it was fun being with them, it was just fun and I think that is one of my reasons for being so backslidden for the first 5 years because I couldn’t let go of these people who shared my life and church was not like sharing your life with anybody, you went to meeting on Sunday morning, you weren’t sharing your life. I got nearly all my friends to church once and that was it, they said, “how do you put up with this?” I got them there once and then when this guy started this Home Fellowship we began to share our lives and actually as we went further it actually went further then anything I had known before. But that was quite a journey and when we build Small Groups in our churches now we are trying to create a context where friendship can form, openness can take place, and all the things that church has to be can only have their outworking in friendliness and intimacy, trust, respect – that is where it works and for me I had some of these things with my unsaved friends and then when I had come to church I had formal. I mean it was the contrast was vast.”

Simon Virgo, “I remember you saying you lost all your friends when you became a Christian and it was you know when Jesus talks about a seed falling into the ground and dying unless it does that you know it abides alone, and for you that was what it was like you lost community and that seems ironic that really the church is supposed to be the best community and yet your step toward Christ was a step out of community.”

Terry Virgo, “Yeah that is very true I think that learning what the church should be is a huge deal and it has been for us a life calling to try and see church what she is meant to be. I think also when the Holy Spirit was poured out for me that was another experience we will talk about some other time I am sure. The Spirit coming I realised church has got to be flexible, open, ready for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. So there is kind of a twofold motivation:

1) To be relevant to my generation and not obscure and strange

2) To be genuinely open for God’s presence

[End of interview]

Check out the video:
1b. Building churches that are evangelistically relevant: Relevant
by Terry Virgo and Simon Virgo
http://www.vimeo.com/15626753

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