Gatecrashing / Book Review #2

I’ve already done a much shorter book review for Gatecrashing by Brian Heasley which you can read here but today I want to do a review in a similar vein to my Punk Monk review.  I’ll be looking at the places I put in sticky notes and highlighting points I found particularly interesting while reading the book.

Gatecrashing follows a group of Christians in Ibiza who set up a 24/7 prayer room and went out into the streets of Ibiza to keep the partygoers safe.

“There is no lasting success without successful succession, and the Heasleys raised up the next generation who have taken the baton and are growing the mission to a remarkable next level.”

This is so often an area where people leading projects or missional communities miserably fail. We consistently build the project around us and our strengths, which is great but if we aren’t also considering the next generation then we’re missing the point. Take my job for example. I am one half of a youth work team and the woman who did the job before us had been there for around 13 years it would have been so easy for her to do her job and leave and we would just have had to pick up the pieces. She didn’t though, she slowly handed over more and more responsibility to us so that the transition was a smooth as possible, she let us stop things, begin new things under her guidance so that when she did leave we, the parents and their children were all comfortable with us taking over.

“I was glad God interrupted our meeting to give us this chance to worship him”

The context of this is a prayer meeting being interrupted by a man in a t-shirt that said “sex God” asking for help. How often do we as Christians let the habit and tradition of church stop us from seeing where God wants us to be?

“The western Christian church is undoubtedly active, but it’s also a world of its own – a world with its own music, its own buildings, its own training courses, its own conferences, its own language, its own TV stations and websites, its books too. This can all take a lot of maintenance. I do wonder sometimes if the maintenance of church growth slows the momentum of mission?”

A friend of mine (and lots of other people) talk about how we as Christian speak “Christianese”, our own language. We don’t even notice we’re speaking it but people not brought up in the church do. We’re supposed to be inclusive not exclusive.

“Our work out on the streets at night in Ibiza was like a rhythm of breathing. We’d spend an hour in the prayer room, ‘breathing’ God in and then an hour walking the streets, ‘breathing’ him out. In and out. That became the rhythm of our work.”

It’s so easy to slip into a habit of either ‘breathing’ in or ‘breathing’ out. Some people are the natural ‘breather inners’ who love nothing more than to spend hours in the prayer room and others are ‘breather outers’ who just want to get out there and practically do stuff. I think it’s about training ourselves to do both.

“I am a great believer in regularly asking ourselves the question, ‘If your church disappeared tomorrow, would the community you work in miss you?'”

I want this question on my wall to read every single day. It’s a call to action. A challenge to the way I live my life. A way we as Christians live out life.

This really is a great book, in fact I’ve yet to read a book Pete Greig is involved in that I haven’t loved.


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