Friday, July 16, 2004

if Church was just....

...Barky’s honest account of his ‘exodus’, his feelings of being marginal and outside because he isn’t playing ball...

...A good friend tells be how the first thing he wants to do when church has finished is pack up his keyboard and escape...

...A habbo friend tells me the best thing about belonging to her church is that she is a stranger every week...


Is it any wonder that the fastest growing church in the west is the "Church of the Churchless Christian"? Dissatisfaction, discontent, frustration, lack of fulfilment seems to be spelling out that the 'latest worship song fix', interspersed with funny video clips, with a little bit of sincere creativity thrown in, doesn’t seem to always connect.

It got me thinking what for me Church is, and what it isn't. What would push me towards 'Churchless Faith?'

To me if church was just a Sunday thing. If it was just part of a process of jumping through 'soteriological' hoops. If church was just something through which you engage with your community once a year to be able to pat yourself on the back and say "what a good missional boy/girl am I!" If it was all about getting excited about glossy one off initiatives. If church was just about having the best worship band, the best preacher, the best AV equipment. If it was just about the latest, trendiest ways of doing things. If church was about finding the latest 'pre-fix' or 'dot.abbreviation', about a contentment of being with like minded people.

Well I think I too might be drawn to saying you can stuff it. BUT for me that isn’t church…

Church for me is having Patrick chunter while people are trying to pray in a community prayer event. It’s about being freed of 'mixophobia' and to be surrounded by refreshing and stimulating difference. Church for me is about seeking God together, journeying together, and discovering true hope, freedom and grace together. It is all about investing into our fragmented community and fragmented lives – fighting for justice, giving hope. Church for me is about being part of something that makes a difference and working towards something that our community would miss if we disappeared.

The trouble is that church spends so much time chasing what it isn’t in order to be what it thinks it should be.

Missionless church is hardly attractive.

No wonder the church of the 'church-less Christian' steadily grows.




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