We interview Rev Dr Neil Hudson, Director of the Imagine project at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, on whole life discipleship and how we can bring our faith into our daily lives.
Q: So what is whole life discipleship all about?
Whole -life discipleship is the simple notion that we all have the potential to be shaped as disciples of Jesus in and through our everyday lives and that we all have the potential to be used for God's purposes in and through our everyday lives. The moment we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus we become part of God's people: his agents of change in this brilliant world we live in.
Q: Why is important we take our faith out of the Sunday setting?
Because Jesus didn't come to earth, die, and rise again simply so that we could go to church! God's purposes are wider than just gathering people in buildings to meet together and to worship him in songs and prayers. There is a world that he loves, that we are involved with already, and this is the world that needs to hear the good news of Jesus both in words and actions.
Q: What will you be talking about in your session?
I will be exploring how God wants to use our normal lives for his glory. In some ways it's obvious. But for many of us our lives are busy, pressured and stressful and it is easy for us to forget that God is able to work in and through us in these everday situations. So I will look at how you can know that, what it might look like, and what would help us to live fruitful lives.
Q: How will people benefit from coming on this course?
Hopefully they will be inspired, enthused and equipped. We grow as disciples step by step and hopefully this will be another step for us along the way.
Q: Surely this is something we should all be doing anyway - why do we need a separate course?
You're right: we should, and if we were all confident that we were doing this, we wouldn't need another course!
However, often our church culture has allowed us to settle for less than God thinks we are capable of, and our natural reluctance has led us to believe that God has some superstars and the rest of us are just getting by. The course hopefully will be more about seeing things through new lesnses than adding pressure to already-pressured lives.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, how you got involved with LICC?
I've been ordained for almost 30 years. During that time I worked full-time for 2 churches for 10 years. My first was in Guernsey; the second was in Salford. Very similar! I worked at a theological college for 11 years and then have been working at LICC since 2006. They invited me to work with church leaders and churches to think about how we enable people to get a bigger sense of their own lives in God's purposes. I've stayed living in Salford and we brought our family up there. I work for LICC 4 days of the week, the rest of the time I am one of the leaders of a church in Salford. Once you find you live in paradise, why leave!
Q: What are you passionate about?
In no particular order:
Discovering more about how God works through exploring the Bible and hearing from people's own experiences, my family, laughing with friends, trying to eke out a modicum of fitness from a reluctant body, reading anything and everything, local church.
Q: What are you looking forward to about coming to Liverpool?
To hear what people have learnt in their own walk with God.
Q: If you had one piece of advice to tell us - what would it be?
Never accept advice from anyone you don't know and whose eyes you have not looked into.
About Neil Hudson
Rev Dr Neil Hudson is the Director of the Imagine project at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. This project has worked with churches over the past 6 years learning what it takes for churches to become communities where whole life disciples develop and flourish. His new book reflects on this process, ‘Imagine Church: releasing whole-life disciples’.(IVP)
Neil is also an Elim church minister in Salford. He’s been part of that church community for the last 25 years. During that time he also worked at Regents Theological College for 12 years, initially as a lecturer and then as Vice-Principal.
He’s married to Maggie, has two adult children and two cats. He’d like the cats to leave home. The cats are pleased when Neil’s in London.