Tuesday, 8 June 2010

arranging deck-chairs, whilst the Titanic sinks?

I found the following on the Ministry Today website. It's quoted by Ian Davies, a Vicar from Swansea, but I'm not sure about the original source and it does sound familiar. However, it was written in the context of the 'Titanic' sinking approach to what's going on in terms of Church attendance, etc. I found it interesting in the light of a conversation with a colleague recently about wrong priorities within our own, Baptist, networks where the 'Titanic' word came up again. I've also been away at our National Settlement Team again, which leaves me with the question, if this holds enough water - how many Ministers and/or Churches are intentionally creating communities, which reflect sufficient of these points to make a difference? See http://www.ministrytoday.org.uk/article.php?id=742 for full article:
Less Sunday, more everyday. The traditional idea of ‘the Lord’s people, around the Lord’s table, on the Lord’s day’ is becoming increasingly untenable as the main way of sustaining God’s Kingdom. Sunday increasingly needs to be viewed as supplementary to church happening elsewhere (see the idea of ‘cells’ or home groups below).
Fewer services, more serving. Meeting with other Christians is necessary and good, but as a means to nurture, feed and equip them for the main task of making disciples (the Great Commission at the end of Matthew. 28).
Less meeting, more eating (I love this one!). Churches need to be places of generous welcome and hospitality to those seeking Jesus.
Fewer congregations, more ‘cells’ (i.e. smaller home groups). To quote the speaker again, “Give in and admit it! Stop perpetuating the myth that two people and a dog equals a congregation ”.
Less believing and more belonging. Welcoming people wherever they are in their spiritual pilgrimage with an inclusive generosity of spirit. There’s no room or time or justification for any of us to be judgmental.
Less certainty, more exploration. “There’s a lot less we can be dogmatic about than we think”. We’re in a market place of ideas and honest debate and exploration of what Christianity means is so essential.
Less policing, more permission. This applies to our Bishops and senior church officers particularly, who need to be ‘permission-givers’ rather than preservers of institutional regulation.

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