It’s hard to believe that threads launched less than six months ago. What an amazing start it’s been.

Long before the URL was bought, the pages designed and the articles planned, threads existed somewhere – somewhere in the dissatisfaction with the state of things. We started threads because we all had that itch – a sense that somewhere along the way things weren’t quite as they should be when it came to Christianity.

We saw our faith slammed in newsprint, we were embarrassed by the judgmental, hypocritical and out-of-touch way we thought some of our fellow believers behaved. We questioned what the point of it all was – and weren’t really hearing sermons which made faith truly relevant to our lives. Our real lives, not the ones we felt we had to present on a Sunday.

We weren’t sure that this was what Jesus had in mind when he came to point the way to the kingdom of God, the better way.

So, if we’re honest, resentment started to form – resentment mixed in with a hint of rebellion. We became the ones being judgmental. And we questioned. Everything. Without much of an outlet for that questioning.

threads has been that space for honesty and questioning. In the past few months, our articles have asked questions about sex and suffering and singleness and CVs and swearing and sporting conduct. We have questioned the women bishops decision, worship music, and whether our congregations are in fact that welcoming.

But we’re reminded of a pre-launch chat we had with our friend Darrell Vesterfelt, editor of Prodigal magazine in the US, who urged us not to glorify the question. We’ve got to move beyond it.

So here we are at the start of 2013 remembering that the question is not the end of the story and looking ahead to what we hope and pray threads will be about.

Many of the articles we have published have already hinted at a better way and we’ve been amazed by the grace with which people have commented on these articles – demonstrating a better way to disagree with each other.

We realise we have a chance here – together – to look for the good, to search for that better way. We believe that better way represents something of the kingdom of God, the shalom that Jesus talked about. So in all that we do, in the articles we publish, we hope to ask the question: what is the better way?

Whether we’re talking about relationships or fatherhood, politics or celebrity gossip, film or theology, that’s what we’ll be trying to find – a better way to do life.

We’re not sure where the answers will take us. But we’re certain that we’ll all be on that journey together.

We’d love you to join us.

I’ll leave you in the words of Tim Keller in Generous Justice, who pretty much summed up what we were all about long before we had any idea: 

“Woven cloth consists of innumerable threads interlaced with one another. Even more than the architectural image, the fabric metaphor conveys the importance of relationship. If you throw thousands of pieces of thread onto a table, no fabric results. The threads must be rightly and intimately related to one another in literally a million ways.

“Each thread must go over, under, around, and through the others at thousands of points. Only then do you get a fabric that is beautiful and strong, that covers, fits, holds, shelters, and delights. God created all things to be in a beautiful, harmonious, interdependent, knitted webbed relationship to one another. Just as rightly related physical elements form a cosmos or a tapestry, so rightly related human beings form a community. This interwovenness is what the Bible calls shalom, or harmonious peace.”

Written by Chine McDonald // Follow Chine on  Twitter //  Am I Beautiful?

Chine McDonald is author of ‘Am I Beautiful?’ a book exploring body image and faith. She has been Head of Christian Influence & Engagement at WVUK since March 2017. Prior to that, she was Director of Communications & Membership at the Evangelical Alliance and part of the group that formed threads. Chine studied Theology & Religious Studies at Cambridge University before becoming a journalist. She is also a writer, speaker and broadcaster and a trustee of charities: Greenbelt, Church & Media Network, Greenbelt Festival and the Sophia Network, which equips women in leadership in the Church.

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