Podcast Season 4

Episode #8: Natalie Williams

Being a disciple of Jesus is not about becoming like the people around us, it’s about becoming more like Him – so why are most western churches predominantly middle class?

Having grown up in relative poverty in a deprived seaside town, Natalie Williams’ life was changed when she became a Christian at age 15. Now she is the chief executive of Jubilee+, a national Christian charity that seeks to equip Christians and churches to alleviate poverty and injustice in their communities. Natalie joins Jo and Peter in this episode for a conversation on class, culture and learning to celebrate difference and diversity.

As the co-author of several books, including Invisible Divides which explores some of the barriers to belonging in the church, Natalie is passionate about recognising the image of God in everyone, and how the church can practically become a place of overflowing mercy.

To hear more about Natalie, discover her books and the work of Jubilee+, head to their website.

Part one (00:00)
00:56 – Introducing Natalie: from the teenager who wasn’t looking for faith, to the woman who now champions the power of Jesus to change the world through His church.
04:04 – Understanding class barriers and belonging: are we to conform to the image of a middle-class Christian? Or to the image of Jesus?
07:34 – Learning to reconcile class differences with a God who doesn’t want us to move away from our cultures and contexts, nor ignore our differences.
11:36 – Trying to unpick values that reflect God vs values that reflect culture, learning first from the Bible and then one another.

Part two (17:34)
17:34 – Class, gender, singleness – how can we better understand multiple and intersecting barriers to belonging?
21:00 – Becoming thick-skinned yet soft-hearted – learning to recognise the plank in our own eye and host spaces where people feel they are welcome.
29:50 – Practically, how do we maintain communities of difference?

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