Monday, January 09, 2006

7 marks of a healthy church... 6/7

Makes room for all. Though they greatly value what they have, not least in their support of one another, these churches have found ways of making others not just welcome at services but part of the life of the church. Generosity permeates the life of these churches.
Warren, R (2004) The Healthy Churches' Handbook. Church House Publishing

This reminds me of a recent lesson (I'm a Craig Twin) enforced today when Marcus helped me move stuff around in the Charity shop.

I wonder if church has to go one step further by aligning themselves so that not only do they 'make room for all', but also that they 'allow all to make room for them!' Placing ourselves in a position to receive from people who want to give but have no-one who wants their help. We need to put ourselves in positions to allow the likes of Patrick and Victor to be able to say ‘I’ll do it for you without expecting anything in return’.

A further thought brewing - "We need a church of the poor not for the poor" makes real sense - beyond that of being patronising - of 'making room for all' perhaps it points to the need of honesty about our vulnerability about allowing ourselves to be 'poor'. So often we concentrate on what we give as church but it is also important to find ways of receiving - even from the most unlikely.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree Gordon, there is no greater way that letting people know they belong than allowing them to help in some way, contribute to the greater community. We had a lady come and help us serve Christmas lunch and she only had one arm and she was so pleased we "let" her help that she has started coming to church...

God Bless

Thanks for your inspirations.

Glenda

Jennifer said...

I agree that the church should both serve and allow others to serve. It's interesting how servanthood can, on occaision be turned into a pride trip. I know one girl in particular who always had to be the center of service. This was usually great but sometimes in order to serve she would push others out of the way or make them feel like they couldn't do it was well as her. It could be pretty disheartening to others who felt like they had no place to help. Fortunately she's learned to let others use their gifts as well now.

Gordon said...

Glenda we have found that happens here as well

Gordon said...

Jennifer - that is a big trap to be wary off. The need to be needed!