Saturday, March 26, 2022

What should church 'look' like?

On reading the New Testament, one would not get the idea that the church would be like it is in most places today.

The modern Western church, and probably over the entire world, is like the pre-reformation church. The reformation, like most revolutions, merely changed the people at the steering wheel, and some of the fuel, of course.

We still isolate 'worship' into a set of performances in a special room, with a ceremonial talk called a 'sermon'.

Paul tells us otherwise.

The closest thing I got to what I'd call a 'real' church expression was in a small 'church plant' in a lower income area.

First we collected the kids in a bus for Sunday School. We taught SS, then drove the kids home. Back at the church premises we gathered for a pre-'service' morning tea; we chatted, mingled and were a community.

Then we had the 'service' which became a performance of sorts. Another morning tea was then provided, noting that most attendees had not participated in the 'between tea'.

The middle bit was good.

So how might church be at meeting.

Informal, sitting around tables, talking about life, faith and the scripture, a light meal,  perhaps or morning or afternoon tea. Singing, of course, but not as performance, as community.

After we might break into a few learning groups; groups for new, younger, and older Christians.

We might also meet during the week for prayer and conversation, with reading of the Bible together.

For special events: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost we might have special celebrations. Proper liturgy, choir, etc. followed by a special lunch or dinner together.

Once year we might have a conference, or we might alternate a conference and a 'regroup' (not a retreat) annually. These might be at our premises, or away at a special venue.

Years ago we had a men's conference at a hotel in the local mountains. It was great. Not lavish, but good to be in decent accommodation, a room to oneself, good food and lovely meeting rooms.

All this would be tricky for me, as I find a formal liturgical 'service' wonderfully helpful and enthralling. Every time we meet we together read the Bible, say the creed, the confession, respond to prayer and commune together. The 'service' is full of the scripture and its sentiments, all reinforcing of our faith and commitments.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.