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I just don’t get church anymore

September 27, 2017

In my last blog I explained why I love Church – but I have to be honest, it is a love-hate relationship.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been getting to know my neighbours. Lovely people, great company, couldn’t do enough for you – and then I started thinking should I invite them to church – and to be honest, panicked. I thought of the ordinary sunday morning church I could take them to.

The traditional services are too boring, enough to put them off God for ever, the special services – cafe church, and guest services are still too – well Churchy. The trendy charismatic churches, not sure they would cope with songs from the latest worship band, and there is still the talky bit…

I could of course bring them to a social event, a quiz night or concert so they get to come to church and gradually get used to the way it is,

Then I realise how STUPID I am being. Why don’t I just make friends with them and be a Christian. talk to them about God on their terms, offer to pray for them, be a real friend. But… It can’t be that simple can it!

Ultimately it is! The problem I have is not with Church, all the lovely people I know, who happen to be followers of Jesus. The problem is with Church as a place, as an event, as an organisation. But it is so hard to un-think the way I  have thought for most of my life!

We don’t intentionally do it, but we still do it. I have lost count of the number of pastors/church leaders who have shown me around their church – meaning the building. As they do so they talk about the numbers of people who attend and usually have great faith that they will fill the building again (like it was in the old days). But the reality check is that they are unlikely to do so – because most people (98% in the UK) simply would never want to go “to church”.

We have never got it so wrong: The church was created to fill the world, we have tried everything to get the world to fill the church (building)

and even when it happens, as very occasionally it does, and someone walks into the church building on a Sunday morning, what is their experience? it is rarely of encountering God’s rainbow people. Churches – yes, even in the UK – are usually divided down ethnic lines, they are mostly middle class – yes, even in working class cities, and if they have young people at all they are likely to be a young persons church, leaving many church struggling to survive with a few older people.

What amazes me is that we think this is acceptable. How can we think by doing what we have always done we will get a different answer?

Then, the way we do church – on this come and find us model is exhausting. There are some churches that manage to attract crowds – that is wonderful, but those churches are mostly so busy putting together the perfect service to entertain the congregation on a Sunday morning that they fail to be the heads and feet of Jesus outside of the church doors. The other churches, the ones just managing to maintain what they have and hoping and praying that God will send some more people – are too exhausted to do life, let alone do it with their neighbours.

Yes I love church, but I am simply disillusioned with the way we “do church”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. David taylor permalink
    September 27, 2017 5:53 pm

    So so true David I at times have become so disappointed with thinking things will turn around people will start filling the building again but as you’ve said that was yesterday’s view it’s took me quite a while but I’ve finally found my way I think I said this some time ago we need new shoes Meet people were they are And not were we want them

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