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).
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.