iinet been down all day…what a pain! Blogging on ms word until connection reappears!
It’s funny you know, the situations you find yourself in. Last night I had the opportunity to share some of my thoughts and ideas on the future of the church. The context was a small group that is part of my church at Whitford, in fact it’s my Mum and Dad’s small group. All of them were over 45 (truth be told they were probably all over 55 but they might read this, so 45 is ‘better’!) but although they were ‘older’ than me, they are mostly keen thinkers and desiring to be stretched in what they think and do.
The questions flew;
“What about the church of the future, what will it look like?”
“What is Forge and what do they do?”
“Tell us what pastors of larger traditional church think of this move to what seems to be smaller and more organic expressions of church?”
“Are these new church expressions accountable to anyone or anything, are they part of a denomination?”
“Are they ‘anti’ big/traditional church?”
“How do you effect change and challenge in a large structured style church, or do you just go off and start something else? Is this not the problem with Protestantism…that all we do is ‘protest’ (as in protest…ant) and split and go off and do something new?”
I shared about how the new and the old need to try to work together, that we need to see that every person in the old is not expected to love the new and shift ‘over’, in fact the new may only be driven by a few of the old but driven for people who don’t have a clue what I am talking about right now – the disconnected and yet to be connected from/to Christ.
The interesting thing last night that I have to confess, was that there were parents of very key leaders from our church in that group, I had to smile inwardly as I heard some of the questions asked and answered. I know I was doing nothing wrong (that expression is telling!) in terms of creating division etc. In fact the conversation was very positive and future focused, it just didn’t look like the future I think all the leaders see for our particular church, but I know that’s okay.
But my purpose and prayer for these great people was that their minds were opened a little to see that there are many many ways to skin a cat when it comes to reaching out to people in the name of Jesus, many ways to express what we call ‘church’. That may be there might be more grace toward people who express their faith in Christ and practice their ‘gathering’ in ways that look different to ‘my church’.