When I was invited to contribute to this book Gathering it was suggested more or less ‘c’mon this has been a chapter you have been wanting to write’. Indeed! Gathering together ideas and thoughts variously expressed elsewhere but in conversation with the work of Chris J. Ellis I had a chance to say something more about the ‘church meeting’. With reference to my Scottish experience in the Indy Ref as an example of a socio-political issue of popular importance I argue that in the practice of our ‘communal discernment’ our conception of the Jesus Christ who we claim is ‘Lord’ is too narrow and too static if we are gathering as disciples to work out what the Kingdom will of Jesus actually is. To strap line this – I do not think that Jesus cares about the colour of the paint in the new kitchen but might about our politics.
One question which came up for me in the course of writing this was when does the phrase ‘communal discernment’ first appear in Baptist literature to describe what we are trying to do in such gathering? Any Baptist historians or theologians who can help?