Forest Church


Forest by Moyan Brenn on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

How do we engage with environmental concerns in worship and in mission. One recent movement in this area is called ‘Forest Church‘. Read this article, which is an extended version of a piece that appeared in the Church Times. It will probably engender a range of opinions, since a wide range of Christians are quoted in the article. At one end are more conservative thinkers such as John Bimson and Richard Bauckham. But elsewhere on the spectrum are some who believe in panentheism, and others who seem friendly towards paganism (neither of which have tended to be deemed acceptable in classical Christianity).

So what do you make of this? Is it a vital approach in engaging with green issues, both for Christians and as a witness? Does it embrace Paul’s missionary principle of ‘being all things to all people in order that I might save some’? Does it embrace new approaches to Christianity that we badly need? Or is it on a slippery slope?

And regardless of your opinions about this article, how do you believe Christians should engage with these matters as part of our mission?


One thought on “Forest Church

  1. I think that mission, like evangelism, preaching and so on, needs to start from where people are; and that includes the missoner/evangelist/preacher. So if someone is passionate about, creation and environmental concerns, setting up something like this, or a similar group, will be natural (no pun intended). Those attending will be able to sense and share their enthusiasm, and conversations about our Lord, or our faith, might flow easily from a shared interest.

    But if someone felt that Christians should be involved in this and set up such a group from a sense of duty, rather than interest in the concern or the people involved, then I think it would be forced, unnatural and come across as being insincere. I also don’t think a Christian should feel guilty about not supporting, or showing an interest in, something like this if they aren’t interested in it. We can’t do everything, after all.

    On the practical side, I wonder how accessible this might be for disabled people. Possibly, if you are in a wheelchair, but wouldn’t not being able to sit, or kneel, down, or walk barefoot rather spoil the experience?

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