Christ the centre-Part 3

This is part 3 of a series on sustaining the Christian distictiveness of Christian organisations.

Abiding in Christ is both a personal and corporate (or community) discipline. Individuals who are spiritually flourishing create a rich community life and a vibrant community life encourages, inspires and equips individuals in their own walk with Christ. It is therefore important to strengthen some corporate community disciplines to help us abide in Christ. There is no set list of what these will be or a sense of prescription for the Spirit will ‘blow where He wills’ but I believe that we will see some significant changes in three areas:


  • Becoming as famous for prayer as we are for action.

An increased emphasis on prayer and intercession

  • Prayer is the place of intimacy with God and intimacy is our highest calling
  • Prayer is our most powerful development intervention
  • Prayer is the heart of our Christian distinctive


  • Increased emphasis on discipleship, as we become a more missional community.

We will create an environment where deepening discipleship is the cultural norm. This will mean

  1. Character becoming the most vital element in recruitment
  2. Becoming more spiritually vibrant.

This involves setting priorities and finding practical ways to allow us to deepen our spiritual vibrancy both corporately and personally, as well as exploring ways that would enable the organisation to maintain the focus on spiritual transformation in the lives of beneficiaries.

    1. To create the space to support spiritual growth and the living of values
    2. To explore the dynamics surrounding personal spirituality in the workplace understanding how this relates to our corporate vision and mission.
    3. To provide resources and tools that will encourage persons to deepen their spiritual growth

3. Increasing Biblical literacy

This involves setting priorities and finding practical ways to allow us to develop our ability to integrate biblical understanding into every aspect of our organisational life. Specific objectives would be:

  • To identify ways of deepening our biblical literacy
  • To explore ways of increasing our understanding of theological issues relevant to Tearfund
  • To ensure there is a clear biblical understanding of the issues pertaining to the work
  • To increase our explicit biblical reflection on current and emerging issues that the organisation faces.
  • To explore ways which we can enable our practical decision making to be more informed by scripture, so that we apply biblical truth to work issues
  • To encourage staff to passionately engage with scripture on issues relating to our work and ministry


  • Discernment at the heart of decision making processes that are integrative of mind, emotion, heart and relationships
    • What is the Holy Spirit doing and saying is the primary question
    • We understand what the Holy Spirit is doing and saying through using our skills, professionalism, experience, relationships, emotions and hearts.


  • Is this the kind or organization we want- a community more than a workplace
  • How do we work out the professional/personal boundaries in this new paradigm
  • Where are potential conflicts between being a missional organization and regulatory frameworks such as employment, equalities and charity governance
  • Are we happy to spend time, money and reputation on these things


on “Christ the centre-Part 3
2 Comments on “Christ the centre-Part 3
  1. Hi David,

    Roger M here. Not surprisingly I agree 100% with the ‘Christ at the centre’ emphasis. Years back I was very involved with the move to an emphasis on prayer in Tear Fund as the intercessory prayer movement gained momentum. This and the accompanying further moves of the Spirit moved me to what my friend Mike Love has identified as intercessory theology, a theology that shifts mindsets to recentre on Christ.

    The impact of Christ centred biblical exegesis, pioneered so excitingly by Rog Forster in our ‘old days’ of working together and now developed by the likes of N. T. Wright, heads full tilt back into the field of action that you rightly say that Tear Fund is famous for. The unavoidable trajectory of the progressive moves of God leads to a reappraisal and where necessary a realignment of the political direction of NGO’s, churches and governments. While this can’t be achieved overnight, witness the years its taken Tear Fund to get to this point, it needs urgent attention.

    Do you think Tear Fund is up for pioneering an intercessory politics that might shift the the structural powers that keep the multitude in poverty at the same time as continuing to act for its more immediate alleviation? As I see it Christ centredness demands nothing less. If I can be a catalyst among those at Tear Fund who are already working on this I would of course love to help!

  2. Various organisations, to be specific christian ones have in the past been so much focusing the community transformation work they are mandated to do, also making sure that their staff are nature d spiritually.In this day and age with the increase of various challenges faced by the staff, there is need to go an extra mile and get to know the other aspects that affect people lives could be issues related to healthy, family etc.Though this might look like taking most of the time esp. at work the advantage is that it builds a well bonded cohesive team who know each well and are genuinely there for each other.I come from Africa where there is a common saying that(i am because we are) life is so communal and i think this can be linked well with the early church in the books of Acts.I friend in the UK once said to me its time wasting to talk issues in general as we try to get to know one another.Why not get into business straight.So i might be biased because of where i come from.Yet as we analyse the life of Jesus, we learn that he did not rush to solve peoples problems he made an effort to get to know them well and was interested in their totality.