“I have called you friends…”

I’ve begun reading a book that my colleague Tim gave me for Christmas, I Have Called You Friends… by Kevin L. Thew Forrester. The main thrust of the book is about ‘mutual ministry’: ministry and baptism are different sides of the same coin.

In the book Kevin argues that Church is not a place of hierarchy but friendship and mutuality. We are all called to be students, vulnerable and willing always to learn and share with one another. We are called to be a family, and a family modelled on this type of equality and mutuality, where diversity is not tolerated but treasured and celebrated.

We are the friends of God. How fantastic is that! “Jesus gathered friends about him from the start of his ministry. They learned from each other, argued with each other, betrayed and forgave. They learned that there is no greater gift than to lay down their lives for one another.” (p. vii)

It is this kind of mutuality and friendship that I would love to see reflected in our Church today.