Friday, 29 October 2010

When will we learn?

I came across these 4 qualities of the Church, qualities which I suppose are really hopes and aspirations. When I read them again today, I'll sign up to a Church that is determined to have these 4 qualities at its heart.
•A Church restructured for mission - mission is so important for the future of the Church and the church of the future; when will we rediscover the notion of evangelism, simply telling our friends about Jesus? Will we shape the structures of the Church, the way we do things, with mission in mind?
•A Church recalled to worship - how important is worship? This puts God at the centre of Church life, where He should be! Church is not a business to be managed; Church is not a social group to rival the bowling club. Church is the people who belong to God, with God at our heart.
•A Church still being reformed - so many of our practices were born a long time ago; we say that we're always reforming, but in fact, we do things in the same way as we did them 30, 40, 50 years ago.
•A Church unafraid of change - we are afraid to take risks and change. I hope that by the time the Church in Scotland wakes up to the need for big changes, it is not too late! It may already be too late for some.

Where do these 4 qualities come from? A report to the General Assembly by a group called The Committee of Forty, in 1978!

It also says that: “the whole witness of the Bible points to a God who calls His people out & on from where they are, not knowing where they are to go, and the true image of the Church is the community of the future and not of the past.”

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The blog is back! The long view?

It's taken me longer than I thought, but the blog is back! It has a new look and will have a new way of making you think. There might not be so many longer pieces, but more short nuggets that I find on my way through ministry. I have also taken away the ability to comment on the blog.

The map background is not random; I love maps, always have done; I have a new book called Map Addict which is not about me, but... Maps show us how to get to places, how to travel. I wish that the Church had a real, detailed map for the future, for the next few years in particular, but it doesn't and we have to travel by faith, trusting that God knows what He is doing.

Here's today's thought: Lucy Moore is the author of two books about Messy Church. In the second volume, she discusses the question of discipleship at home and in families. One of her challenges for us is this: "Work for your children's grandchildren: we're in this, whatever form it changes into, for the long haul." (Messy Church 2 p.34)

Most church members have a good idea of what they want from their Church and what suits them. Can we develop this long view? What difference would it make to our attitudes? Many people are concerned that there will be no church for our children's grandchildren, but God is at work here! What work do we need to do now to pave the way?