Tuesday, December 27, 2005

September 18th 2005

Okay we've been meeting as a church for a short time now, and I think we have a problem, you see I have become over the years brainwashed into what church should be. The controls tell me we have to have a residing presence, to leave a legacy, to meet in rows and have one man at the front. We have notices, prayers, sermon, singing etc...all this presses in on me from within.

Yet the Spirit is saying different - to really explain this read this article.

I don't even want a name for our church, I just want to do it. All my being tells me to devise ways to attract people to us - yet it is God who adds because he knows who are his.

I was watching the closing moments of the Matrix, Neo is free and he says this...

I know you're out there...I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us, you're afraid of change...I don't know the future...I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end, I came here to tell you how this is going to begin. Now, I'm going to hang up this phone, and I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you...a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible. Where we go from there...is a choice I leave to you...

All I have is the knowledge to say 'this is how it begins', where it goes from here is up to God. In the Kingdom of God, anything is possible, it is a pilgrimage, a journey, hence the road picture (Isa 35).

Here follows a quote from simplechurch.co.uk

Something is happening across Britain today: a new kind of church is beginning to appear; increasing numbers of christians are starting to gather in homes, colleges and work places. Living out a 24-7 faith, they are missionally focused with a 'go to them' dynamic instead of a 'come to us' invitation. These churches are small, fluid, organic, reproducible and most of all simple; so simple that any believer would respond by saying "I could do that!"


Peter said...

Great links, already bookmarked them. Think the best way to see ourselves get out of "this-is-the-way-to-do-church" box is to see lots of people saved. Like you're saying, lots of us long-in-the-tooth Christians just can't imagine themselves "out of the box" enough to imagine anything different. Nothing challenges us more than when lots of COMPLETELY unchurched folk get saved and starting to ask "why".

And I think that's why lots of churches have got into the ruts they've got into. They stopped asking WHY.

Was at a high church service not so long ago. Lots of very cool, cutting edge stuff ... multi-sensory (stained glass, incense, bells), practical (pulpit for visibility, sing-songy voices for acousitics), worship led by children (choir) ... just 200 years out of date. They forgot WHY and stuck with HOW.

Jesus told us to come as little children. Nothing optimises little children more than "Why?". The "emerging church" will prosper as long as it keeps asking the same question and fade into obscurity as soon as it thinks it's discovered HOW. IMO of course ;o)

Dave said...

Nice one Peter, 'why' is the only question - every move in the church, 18th Century awakening, Hebridean Revival, Charismatic move, even Alpha and Purpose Driven have all initially asked 'why'.
Sadly those who follow immediately after ask how, its like 'if we do what they did then God will act the same way'.

Each generation, or more importantly each community needs to find their own way in God, maybe this is why the NT never gives us a blueprint for church, just glimpses.
You know what, I reckon in 1-3 years you will be able to buy a complete study guide and resources on how to be an 'emergent church'.
By then the real emergent church would have moved on.

peace to you

Anonymous said...

I think that if an unchueched person asks why the ffect is fairly limited!! However if the family member who'sbeen in the house a while and knows the inns and outs, someone who's been privy to the family jewels etc, and understands the family pedigree, if they suddenly stop in the middle of supper, put down their spoon and ask WHY WHY WHY?? All of a sudden the ripples are felt by the great grandparents who introduced the nonsense in the first place!!

If the only thing that challenges us is unchurched folk asking why then might I suggest you cry with the crowd, 'Oh my isn't the kings robes lovely!!' Ignore the wee boy because I'm not sure you'll have the backbone to stand with him!!

Just a thought

Dave said...

Dear Anon your thoughts and comments are intruiging, I am not sure who the wee boy is, but I think I know what you mean.

I certainly do not have the backbone to stand opposed to any, yet Christ whom I stand in stands for me 'if he is for me then whom shall I fear' - I think none, no not any.


Peter said...

When the family member asks "Why" I think more often than not they're just seen as a rebel and/or a nuisance!

When a family member asks "why" they also need to make sure they are genuinely interested. They'll usually find that the things their grandparents introduced aren't nonsense but had very practical or Godly motives.

IMO seeing more people saved is the key to everything. They are free to challenge the orthodoxy without seeming like rebels. They haven't been 'conditioned' into the family's ways. When lots of babies are coming into the house even the grandparents are willing to accomodate some changes!

dinsy said...

Hmm, think I'm with Anon on this one, Peter.

While I agree that it would be good to have lots of "unchurched" people getting "saved", I a) don't think that is the main point of church; and b) think that all these "new babies coming into the house" will simply end up conditioned in the same way that all the other folk are in that particular church, unless someone with enough knowledge to understand how the answers they get to their "WHY"s fit in with what Jesus and the apostles lived and preached. Which was Anon's point.

The things the grandparents introduced probably did have practical or godly motives, but that doesn't mean we have to follow them unthinkingly for the rest of our days - Jesus said "Follow Me" not your grandparents. The Pharisees were very good at following rules and their faith and their salvation was in their rules, and not in the Lord their God. Hence it failed them.

This is a good thread - lets have some more comment please?

NPC said...

Being from a baptist church, the idea of "liturgy" (in the narrow sense, which is a preset of words to say, actions to do, songs to sing and prayers to pray) is very alien to me, yet, after visiting some churches with legacy, I can say that I really enjoyed it, and this was exactly for the reason Peter mentioned - by asking "Why?" about every single sentence, song or prayer, I was discovering thoughts and motives of those, who came (and went - to be with our Father) long time before me. And I must say that the experience (this is a contemporary term, isn't it?) was amazing.

I hope this adds to the good comments above.

And, Dave, thank you for the links, very good thoughts!


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