CHARACTERISTICS OF CLAPHAMBy
The Clapham Society is an organization of Christians from diverse denominational backgrounds united together in purpose, character and calling.
Following the model of the original Clapham community, below is the vehicle we have chosen for implementing a functional and structured 21st century community of Christian activists.
Characteristics of the Clapham Society:
1. They shared a common commitment to Jesus Christ and a clear sense of calling.
2. They were committed to lifelong friendship.
3. Their advocacy was marked by careful research, planning and strategy.
4. They worshiped both privately and publicly.
5. Their friendships were inclusive and focused on the essentials. For example: Wilberforce was a Wesleyan and his close friend, Henry Thornton, was a Calvinist.
6. They made family life a clear priority.
7. They kept the “long view” on completing projects. The abolition of the slave trade took 20 years!
8. They made no dichotomy between evangelism and social action.
9. Their faith was integral to all of life… family, career, friendship and more. It was a faith that the younger generation calls “24/7.” They talked together of a faith that impacted every part of their lives. There were no “compartments.”
10. They enabled one another vs. trying to “have it all.” They recognized each others passions and supported one another in addressing them.
“I apprehend the essential practical characteristic of true Christians to be this: that relying on the promises to repenting sinners of acceptance through the Redeemer, they have renounced and abjured all other masters, and have cordially and unreservedly devoted themselves to God… It is now their determined purpose to yield themselves without reserve to the reasonable service of the rightful sovereign. They are not their own: their bodily and mental faculties, their natural and acquired endowments, their substance, their authority, their time, their influence, all these they consider as belonging to them… to be consecrated to the honor of God and employed in his service.”
– William Wilberforce