Thursday, May 17, 2007

Couple of things have led me to thinking about this.
Wednesday I went on the annual trip to the Christian Resources Exhibition.
It struck me that if all the courses, ideas and "stuff" worked then we should have a thriving church in the UK! (With nice chairs, folding tables and a glass lectern!)

Today I was at something called the London Urban Theology Project, a bunch of people presenting papers for discussion around ministry in London. It was stimulating stuff! One of those papers echoed this idea suggesting that the ABC for many churches has become "Attendance, Buildings and Collection". We focus on style and technique, programme and things rather than attending to the hard work of being church.

This echoes a lot with the call for community and authenticity in some of the stuff around emerging missional church. Yet in so many areas of church life (youth ministry is a classic example) we seem to lack the time or imagination to do anything other than buy an "off the shelf" solution.

I often wonder if some churches do "projects" to avoid really doing mission! Being "missional" is much more intrusive.

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Blogger Roy said...

challenging thoughts!

8:09 am  
Anonymous Tim Abbott said...

Ooops!! The secret's out - I think you've rumbled the system! A few points to add to the discussion.

There's certainly a bit of a 'supply and demand' mechanism working here - all these resources wouldn't be available if someone wasn't buying them. I suspect that's usually busy hard pressed volunteer youth workers who don't have time to be as creative as they might like to be.

At least some of these resources come from people who have been creative, found it worked and then discovered the joy of marketing it to the world. However, I'm almost convinced that some of the people writing some of this stuff haven't ever actually done it with young people.

I agree - mission is a lot messier and intrusive than a programme. But give me mission every time. Creativity often happens when you've got to the edge of what's available or obvious. And you won't find that in the safety of a 'project'.

10:32 am  
Anonymous Jon Jolly said...

Hi Pete. I agree with all your points here. It's very rare that I use any of the published resources with my groups - they just don't 'fit' our needs, so I'll use a game or an activity here and there (Nothing inspiring at CRE). Instead I find much better and creative ideas coming from youth workers who are actually trying things out and then posting them up on the net such as Let God Grow.

12:26 pm  

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