A little while ago, an online acquaintance named Alan Molineaux announced that he was publishing his first book, titled Sea and Islands: A Search for Evangelical Morphodoxy. I thought it sounded interesting so I approached Alan and he kindly sent me a review copy. As I have occasionally done before, rather than writing a straight review I thought it would be interesting to interview Alan to find out a bit more about the motivation behind the book and its message.
Alan lives in West Yorkshire, where he leads a church as well as running a management training business. He previously worked in the electronics industry and has an M.A. in Pastoral Theology.
Alan, thanks for agreeing to answer some questions about yourself and your book. First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your spiritual journey?
I became a Christian in a Pentecostal church in Manchester, England at the age of fifteen. Having originally trained in electronics, my wife and I planted a church in Norfolk in 1993. Shortly afterwards I began studying for an M.A. in Pastoral Theology. Following something of a personal crisis, we moved to Yorkshire and I returned to business management. It wasn’t long before the urge to plant a church gripped us again and we started a small congregation in Bingley, West Yorkshire in 2008.
During all of this, we have travelled from some of the certainties of Pentecostalism to a wider appreciation of church history and practice.
What would you say is the single most valuable lesson you’ve learnt in all your years in church leadership?
Don’t be so consumed with a vision that you lose your essential self. Many of the leadership events we went to during our early time of ministry massaged our need to “succeed”. Larger churches were presented as the gold standard and we were encouraged to “enlarge our tents” without being fully aware of the cost that might be paid by ourselves and others.