10 questions for Martin Robinson

Martin RobinsonI caught up with Martin Robinson for lunch this week in Melbourne. Martin is a prolific author on the church and it mission and heads up Together in Mission. He's based in Birmingham, England.

He's in Australia on a national tour, running a series of church planting seminars.

1. Question: What's new?

Answer: Church planting is back on the agenda. It's been off the agenda in Britain off for ten years since the collapse of the DAWN strategy. For the last few years we've been talking about what we mean by “church”. We've come through that discussion and we're getting back to church planting. The other trend I'm picking up is the rise of secular fundamentalism in the West in reaction to having religion back on the agenda. There's a bit of hysteria in political circles and concern that religion may undermind the secular society.

2. Question: What are you reading?

Answer: Without Roots. The book is a dialogue between the present Pope and the speaker of Italian senate concerning Europe's loss of its spiritual roots. I'm also reading The Cathedral and the Cube by George Weigel. It's also about the disconnect between Europe and its spiritual heritage.

3. Question: What are you writing?

Answer: I'm working on a book on the relationship between postmodernity, the Bible and mission. It's due out at the end of 2007.

4. Question: What are you learning?

Answer: We're probably in the proces of turning the corner in the Western world. The church in the UK is growing and in other parts of Europe. There's a new climate of openess to the gospel. It's still early days, but there are promising signs.

5. Question: What are you excited about?

Answer: The remarkable recovery of England in the one day cricket series against Australia. After a summer of defeats, England hasn't lost a game since I arrived in Australia.

6. Question: What troubles you?

Answer: I'm very concerned with how we're going to reach the under 25s. Where will the resources and energy come from?

7. Question: What's the future of the emerging church?

Answer: One has to see the Emerging church as an opportunity for experiment. Now the Emerging church needs to get beyond experiment. It needs to get beyond a concern for forms and to work much more with reproducible DNA. We can't experiment forever. We have to get to movement.

8. Question: What projects are you working on?

Answer: Five things:

  • Training around leadership development
  • Working with consultancy processes to get churches from maintenance to mission.
  • Events designed to pick up church planting issues and deal with them.
  • Developing resources that will facilitate church planting and mission.
  • A research track to resource church planting more effectively.

9. Question: If you were in your 20s, starting all over again, what would you do?

Answer: I'd want to plant a church that has the capacity to plant churches.

10. Question: At the end of your life, what do you want to be remembered for?

Answer: I want to be remembered for encourging and equipping people to go into church planting. I'd also like to be remembered or having some wonderful grandchildren. Lynda and I have two already and we're hoping for many more.

Planting Mission-Shaped Churches Today (Martin Robinson)