If you want to understand the church in the UK today, then you have to understand something about the growth and development of Black Majority Churches and Partnership in Mission: A Black Majority Church perspective on mission and church unity by Israel Olofinjana is an excellent place to start.
This is a relatively short book; a normal format paperback with just under 120 pages and will cost you around five pounds for the paperback or slightly less for the Kindle version.
The main body of the book consists of three chapters:
- The history and diversity of Black Majority Churches in London
- From migrant sanctuaries towards structural change: Mapping the theological shift in reverse mission of BMC in London
- Ecumenical partnerships between Historic Churches and BMC
This structure provides a clear narrative which makes it easier to follow the (sometimes dense) detail of the book.
For the outsider, it can be difficult to grasp the various strands of Black Majority Churches; it is extremely helpful to have a book which lays them out so clearly. However, I would very much have valued an index to the book, which would make it easier to find things in the future.
Who should read this book? I would suggest that most church leaders, especially those in large cities, should get hold of a copy. Most of us are aware of the history and background to our own denomination or particular strand of Christianity, but we are less aware of what is happening outside of our own area. The growth of Black Majority Churches in the UK is perhaps the most significant event in British Christianity in the last few decades, but it is one which is taking place off the radar for most Christians in the UK.
The final chapter of the book gives a good reminder of the impact that BMCs are already having in the UK; both the National Day of Prayer and Street Pastors have emerged from Black Majority Churches and their impact is only likely to grow in the future.
This is basically a book of facts; telling a historical story and laying out what is happening on the ground today. As such, it doesn’t lend itself to pulling out inspirational quotes, so I’ll close with something that was said at the recent Global Connections Conference:
“British Christians prayed for revival, but when it came, they didn’t recognise it because it was black.”
If you want to know about what God is doing in the UK today, you really have to read this book.
I was provided with of the book by the author in return for an honest review.