OK hopefully not too deep a thought for summer holidays, but then perhaps we need to think a bit deeply at times.
So my thought is on church and what it is for. I have read a fair bit on church and what its purpose is to be and one article from Churchleaders.com really tweaked me a bit as it asks about what makes an unhealthy church. So taking their idea more to ask questions than to make great answers for this week here we go.
There are many churches and some are good, some are not so good. Some are my kind of church and some are your kind of church. Different styles are one thing because not all of us like the same things. I want a holiday to somewhere quiet and you want a noisy party. I want scenery and you want the city. I want history and you want current events. Next year we may want the opposite. But taste here is not the topic, rather what makes a healthy church verses a not so healthy church. From my perspective as well I am dealing with Christian church not other religions as such. I would suspect others would have what they deem health or no so much so.
The first topic of health for me is what is the point of the gospel. Always my view is shaped by this. And when I use the term gospel it is wrapped up in the person of Jesus of the Gospels. Nothing more nothing less. So what does my church, what does your church say about Jesus?
Second is what is the vision of the church? Is it to do gospel, is it to do good works, is it to change society, is it to...? Is it a combination of the above? In other words why do we do church?
The third question I was challenged by was is church comfortable? If it is why? And if not why not? I tend to go by the saying that my dad used to use often that a church service should make you ‘Sad, mad or glad.’ It should be more then comfortable, rather it should challenge us to change for the better. I read a quote as well from one of my FaceBook Friends that said: ‘if you are looking for a feel good religion don’t chose Christianity. Christianity won’t make you comfortable.’ At some levels this is not quite right but at others it is dead on.
The forth point is that of just being happy to be a ‘Pew Warmer’. Can you go to your church and just sit for an hour and go home? I think when a church is healthy it means that eventually that church folk get active. As I encounter folk here in Brechin we seem to be a fairly active bunch which is helpful. But I wonder often how it would look if we had an even higher participation rate.
OK that is more than enough to think about for this week... Maybe I’ll do a few more in the future as there are way more...
Let me know what you think,