Worship and the Mumford Generation

Worship and the Mumford Generation

rend campfire

I am a big fan of the Rend Collective. I think their music feels like worship songs for the Mumford and Sons generation – there’s a homemade, folky, engaging warmth to their songs. Not meaning to name drop but just because some people look great from afar and then in the flesh turn out to be a bit of a let down; I have had the privilege of working with them on a couple of events and they come across as very grounded and gracious people with a real servant heart. This really comes across in their new video which is both a trailer for their new album and an apologetic and a challenge to the church to be more like a wall-less gathering around a campfire (nice metaphor by the way).

Campfire Evangelicalism?

I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about what it means to be an evangelical and playing around with the idea of a “centred set” rather than a “bounded set” has been in my mind. The terminology is borrowed from the Evangelical Christian Missiologist Paul Hiebert (you can read a fuller explanation here). Hiebert who was Distinguished Professor of Mission and Anthropology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School argues that rather than trying to police the boundaries of who is “in” and who is “out” we should just clearly articulate what the centre and core of our faith is i.e. Jesus and invite people to engage with it. So rather than trying to settle all of our differences across the vast spectrum of evangelical views we should just be clear about the centre of our faith – what we believe about the Good news of Jesus and draw people to him. Rend have used the metaphor of a campfire to encourage the same idea – we invite people to join in and we worship around the campfire. Watch the video and let me know if you think the metaphor works – or if you just like the music.


5 thoughts on “Worship and the Mumford Generation

  1. I love these guys – pushing boundaries and sounding great. The vid is really well done. My only thought is that the visual metaphor would be enhanced if there were a wider range of ages and ethnicities represented around the fire.

    1. Matthew says:

      I thought it just honest. If that’s what their church is like then it would be wrong to add some diversity just for the sake of it.

  2. Jon Rogers says:

    The whole centred set vs bounded set is something I’ve discussed with the other leaders of our small evangelical church. One of the problems we have is a legal obligation to have a defined membership for our charity status. In theory a centred set is a much better model but it can have practical drawbacks.

    On Rend: I didn’t really “get” their 2010 album and haven’t listened to anything newer til today. The Mudford sound is definitely there, I’m going to check the album out.

  3. Matthew says:

    Love the sound. I like the analogy of centredness but I also feel positive about membership and boundaries. In membership there is belonging, loyalty and accountability.

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