Posted on: June 14, 2007
Firstly I know all has been quiet on my blog…not as quiet as Hayley’s Blog but still quiet, in fact lots of people seem to have bloggers block.
I’ve been thinking a lot about church recently, stemming from several things really, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Tab days and how I miss the sort of church that you got there, I’ve been thinking a lot about Park Baptist (my home church) and how although it has faults it’s certainly getting closer to being the church I believe the New Testament talks about and the sort of church Jesus would be happy with, I’ve also been thinking a bit about how I miss church, quite often I think Park Road feels like work, and I’m thinking perhaps next year I need to try and escape to other churches in some evenings (perhaps one a month or something).
I’ve also been thinking once again on Proclaimers Church, and have signed up to their podcast which has some sermons you can download and listen to…and they’re pretty good, I listened to one the other night and pretty much agreed with all of it.
If you’re wondering where all this is going then let me help you out, church comes in different shapes and sizes and in all sorts of different styles but as long as it still preaches the message of Jesus it is church.
However I’ve been thinking on something Chedz said to me which was basically ‘If God didn’t show up one sunday morning to church would we notice?’. I think that poses an interesting question, one of my aims when I do church is to try and do something different however I’ve been falling into the sandwich trap, whereby you end up structuring a service exactly the same as it is always done and I think too often in church we’re confided by times, and thoughts of how old Dorris will complain if we don’t have a organ hymn, or if we go on for too long, and I think more often than not if God didn’t show up we wouldn’t notice (I’m trying to be general here not specific, so Park Baptist for example I think would notice, as would Tab).
The fact is this, we’ve made church into something confortable, it’s cosy, there’s no surprises, you go in, sit down, sing a couple of songs, listen to talk, have some coffee and go home, church is too confortable. One way which I look at the teachings of Jesus is that he made people unconfortable…and not just a little bit he made them very unconfortable but at the same time challenged, he gave them somewhere to go from their unconfortability. Paul does the same in his letters.
However it seems that more often than not church is too confortable, I go into church knowing what to expect, preachers often think carefully about their words so they don’t offend, I think Jesus probably offended quite a few people so why are our churches today scared to offend?
I don’t know of a solution, but I think we need to make church unconfortable, I want church to be a place where I’m challenged, where I’m inspired and I want it to be a place where the love of God is experienced, not just from the church to the outside world but within the church, when did Jesus ever care about a building? or children running inside a church? He didn’t!