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Hope From The Margins

Church History Informing Mission Today


“Is there any hope for the future of the church in the Western world as it loses its former position of influence? The Church is not where it used to be. We’re marginalised.” That’s how many Christians feel in Ireland today and throughout the Western world. But that does not need to be bad news! During its first three centuries the Church was small, under pressure and marginalised yet it grew. Based on extensive academic research, Laurence Graham examines the ways in which the early church went about mission both within the Roman Empire and beyond. These lessons are then applied to mission in Ireland today through the lens of the author’s over 25 years ministry experience in local churches – big and small, old and new. The conclusion? Yes, the Church today is increasingly marginalised. But from the margins Christians can still demonstrate and share hope. This new book from Praxis Press has been welcomed by Church leaders from across the theological spectrum in Ireland.

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About The Author

Laurence Graham is the Superintendent Minister of Dublin Central Mission and General Secretary of Irish Methodist World Mission Partnership.

After college he worked in agricultural development and youth work in Haiti and Antigua before returning to Ireland and (much to his surprise) being called by God to train as a Methodist Minister. Before Dublin he and his wife Karen have served in Longford, Cork and Kerry. He served as President of the Methodist Church in Ireland from 2017-2018.

What People are Saying…

“Laurence Graham is not just an observer of church mission, but a practitioner. He outlines how the Christian Church adapted her methods through history as she faced different circumstances. We hear the word ‘unprecedented’ often these days. Yet, as this book makes clear, we would be foolish to ignore the missional lessons from our past.”

Pastor Nick Park, Executive Director, Evangelical Alliance Ireland

“As a British Nigerian Pastor, ministering in Ireland, I found Laurence’s views on mission very insightful and relevant especially in the interesting time and season we are in. The book underscores that there is an urgent need for the church to step up to the plate by thinking outside the box with innovative ideas that can be deployed in reaching out to lost souls, previous church goers and even people who have made up their mind not to be receptive to the gospel, through the various utilisation of hospitality which was typical of Jesus’ approach during His earthly ministry. I therefore recommend the book to every soul-minded believer.”

Pastor Esirigho Ofurhie, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ireland

“Hope from the Margins is a fascinating journey through the panorama of church history exploring how Christians have shared and demonstrated the good news of Jesus Christ down through the ages. But this is not a history textbook. By pondering how the past can inform our present and future, Laurence Graham’s timely and essential book draws from his years of experience of grassroots mis‐ sion. Hope from the Margins is an inspiring and thought-provoking ‘must read’ for anyone passionate about finding authentic, contextualised approaches to Gospel ministry in contemporary Ireland.”

Ruth Garvey Williams, Editor of VOX magazine

“Mission has and always will be the heartbeat of the Church. For history to be of benefit to future generations they must learn the lessons from it.
In his book, ‘Hope from the Margins’, Laurence takes us on a journey from the early days of the New Testament Church to present day Ireland highlighting what has and hasn’t worked. It is clear from every age that there is no greater influence to the mission of the Church than ordinary Jesus followers living “distinctive and attractive life‐styles before their family, friends and neighbours,” showing how their faith impacts in every area of their lives.
He skilfully shares the pitfalls to be avoided and enough hope to believe we can rise to make a difference in our generation. My prayer for those who read this book is that they rise to that challenge and so fulfil the call of God upon His Church.”

Pastor Trevor Hill, Team Leader, Plumbline Ministries Ireland

“If today’s church in Ireland is to fulfil its mission, Laurence Graham argues that it must give closer attention to the church of the first three centuries than the church of the last three centuries. This is a brave, thought provoking and practical look at the mission challenges that lie ahead in Ireland.”

Seán Mullan, Founder of Third Space

“Hope From The Margins”

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