Four Words on Living All of Life Faith

14 October 2013
Guest Author

Four Words on Living All of Life Faith

by | Oct 14, 2013

by Nigel Dixon
member of NZCN All of Life Faith discussion group

I guess my concern, as I write these words, is to express the essential core of what it means to be Christian in our context. So, in choosing these words, I am seeking words that can define us as a community as well as being missional (there being an integrity between how we live together and how we face/embrace the world).

Living the story

We are called to live in the story that begins with creation and concludes with the completion of the new creation – in the story of God. This narrative invites us to take part in God’s unfolding purposes and longings for human life and the care of creation. This story centres on Jesus who incarnated God, who Died and rose again and reigns as King and calls us to live in this kingdom reality and kingdom dream. We invite every person to be participators in this new covenant and new creation.

Living as community

Karl Barth once said; ‘there is no such thing as an individual christian’ yet our culture, however, has radcially individualized the way we see our lives and the way we live together. Central to Jesus’ mission (indeed the whole Bible) is the formation of a community that would live in the life of God – for the sake of the world. This community, the church, to called to live incarnationally (forgiving, serving,…), relationally (committed friendships, healthy marriages…), missionally, the message they know and believe.

Living vocationally

Every person is God breathed and God called . Our human journey, in part, is a journey of discovering who we are, how we are wired, and how to serve God best in the world. The church, therefore, ought to be deeply committed to helping people discover who they are and supporting them as they navigate their way in the world. This involves valuing the world of work – that the church is developing leaders and giftedness to bless, and to have influence, in the world.

Living compassionately

The church is a community that lives for the sake of the vulnerable, the disadvantaged, the outsider. Loving our neighbour, whether they are in Christian community or outside it, is the essence of Christlikeness. Jesus always practiced a radical inclusion of the outsider – this involves seeing people, accepting people and acting with compassion; hospitality, generosity and creativity for the sake of the other.


Nigel Dixon a member of NZCN’s All of Life Faith discussion group. He is a life coach, husband, father, and bible teacher. He completed a post-graduate theological study through Regent College in Vancouver. He loves exploring scripture and culture and the challenge that being Christian poses in a post-Christian world. Nigel is employed part-time by Emmaus to organise the curriculum and lecture. He is the author of  Villages Without Walls.

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2 Comments

  1. Alistair Mackenzie

    I like your 4 words. I wonder about adding one other. Living glocally. Not because I am wedded to the word glocal, but because I am looking for a word that includes recognition of our global connections and commitments at the same time as we seek to live our faith out incarnationally and locally.

  2. Deb Burton

    I love this: “Central to Jesus’ mission (indeed the whole Bible) is the formation of a community that would live in the life of God – for the sake of the world.”
    Love is after all central to the Christian life – indeed the beginning and end of it as well…
    So how do we even begin to practice it amongst ourselves? We think of loving our families, yet some have no families, and some idolize their families before God! Without ‘a family’ mostly our Christian life is to meet at our ‘club house’ once a week and spend most of the time sitting and watching, singing along…. We think of sharing our faith one by one at our jobs and other ‘clubs’ and neighbourhoods.
    So… Jesus sent people out two by two – and this would be a good start – to have a ‘prayer partner’ that you deliberately set out to “pray, study and discuss how to take the given Gospel to the given people” (Chapter 1 of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement) – indeed this is a strategy I’ve yet to see picked up by churches.
    Homegroups are a great answer, if their aim is the simple one of scripture – to love oneanother, and to break through the “tunnel of chaos” (Bill Hybels’ concept) with God’s help, and the help of leadership – which would mean more work for them – yet is this not the true work of God? To grow the church in maturity would see it grow in numbers! So – not just another meeting, but application of what’s been heard, what does it mean, how do we feel, what is God saying to us/me? How are we each getting on in this? And don’t forget the outreach of good works and fun times to share with family, neighbours and workmates – homegroups should be a place we can bring them to!
    And how about the ‘club meeting’. Imagine a new person, or Jesus coming to the door, someone shakes His hand and hands Him a newsheet, and that’s it! It’s not enough… My church is small but I deliberately seek each person out and greet them, hug them if appropriate. It makes a difference! Then to the prayer meeting not to ask but to listen and pray along with what I hear…
    Imagine people sitting with home groups – that’s the kind of relationships we should be building – we want to be with each other…

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2 Comments

  1. Alistair Mackenzie

    I like your 4 words. I wonder about adding one other. Living glocally. Not because I am wedded to the word glocal, but because I am looking for a word that includes recognition of our global connections and commitments at the same time as we seek to live our faith out incarnationally and locally.

  2. Deb Burton

    I love this: “Central to Jesus’ mission (indeed the whole Bible) is the formation of a community that would live in the life of God – for the sake of the world.”
    Love is after all central to the Christian life – indeed the beginning and end of it as well…
    So how do we even begin to practice it amongst ourselves? We think of loving our families, yet some have no families, and some idolize their families before God! Without ‘a family’ mostly our Christian life is to meet at our ‘club house’ once a week and spend most of the time sitting and watching, singing along…. We think of sharing our faith one by one at our jobs and other ‘clubs’ and neighbourhoods.
    So… Jesus sent people out two by two – and this would be a good start – to have a ‘prayer partner’ that you deliberately set out to “pray, study and discuss how to take the given Gospel to the given people” (Chapter 1 of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement) – indeed this is a strategy I’ve yet to see picked up by churches.
    Homegroups are a great answer, if their aim is the simple one of scripture – to love oneanother, and to break through the “tunnel of chaos” (Bill Hybels’ concept) with God’s help, and the help of leadership – which would mean more work for them – yet is this not the true work of God? To grow the church in maturity would see it grow in numbers! So – not just another meeting, but application of what’s been heard, what does it mean, how do we feel, what is God saying to us/me? How are we each getting on in this? And don’t forget the outreach of good works and fun times to share with family, neighbours and workmates – homegroups should be a place we can bring them to!
    And how about the ‘club meeting’. Imagine a new person, or Jesus coming to the door, someone shakes His hand and hands Him a newsheet, and that’s it! It’s not enough… My church is small but I deliberately seek each person out and greet them, hug them if appropriate. It makes a difference! Then to the prayer meeting not to ask but to listen and pray along with what I hear…
    Imagine people sitting with home groups – that’s the kind of relationships we should be building – we want to be with each other…

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