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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Post 1

Obviously not my first post, but hey, it's a bit different!

Actually there's a few things I wanna post on right now but they're all a bit of a muddle. Considered putting them all in one post but it wouldn't do to have you all as muddled as me now would it.

Would it?

Ahem. So what to post on first...

Well, I've been thinking a lot since I've been home about church. Still haven't got a lot to say, want to devote more time to thinking/reading/praying. I think the main reason I've started to think about church (especially 'how it works' if I can put it like that) is that I've come home, to a very small church, with very few youth, and a congregation with quite different ideas on how a service should run. There's a longing amongst some of the 'older' congregation, I think/hope, to be inviting younger people into church or, rather, to be making it more relevant, to make sure they're attracted to church and want to come.

[This is where Ceryn starts to think out loud...]

Now, when I spoke to some of the young people (and I still include myself in that description) a couple of weeks back about Christian things they can get involved in outside of church, and of ways they could support each other in their faith, I didn't want them to go away thinking that church was the boring thing you do on a Sunday and I was giving them exciting other Christian things to do during the week. I actually used the phrase "Church is exciting" - you should have seen their faces! Despite their efforts at politeness, there were a few chuckles. Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised.

But that challenged me, and it's a challenge I hope that I will take up, that my church will take up, that other churches - especially in this area - will take up.

Because church IS exciting! So why do young people (and, to be fair, people of all other age, shape, size and fashion too) often find it boring - whether they're from 'churched' homes or not?

I know that knowledge of the perception of church as 'boring' can often lead to the feeling amongst church congregations that we need to make church more relevant (not the gospel, mind you - that will always be 'relevant'). But we go through endless ideas - what if we have powerpoint, or children's/youth services, or fun games, or exciting youth leaders, or we meet in a pub, or...or...or...

Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with any of those ideas. OF COURSE we should move with the times, we should go to where the people are (not expect them to come to us), we should be creative/inventive etc...

BUT - we shouldn't let those things become what church is about, or what we think church is about, or how we think we're gonna get people into church.

My point? Well, in my mind, what's gonna get people into church is the gospel. (Controversial, I know.)

Believe it or not, the gospel is true. We are sinners (I know that's a dirty word), we have rebelled against God, our creator, and tried to ru(i)n the world. And ourselves. And whoops, it just doesn't work. And God, being fair, cannot abide rebellious people in his perfect presence. We're in a bit of a pickle then, but Jesus, God's son, died a painful, terrible death on a cross to save our skins, take the punishment we deserve, and clear the way for us rebels to be where we were always meant to be, the only place we feel whole - with God.

The question I'm asking myself is, am I excited enough about that? Now that I have accepted Jesus as my Saviour and I'm looking to live in the shadow of what He's done for me, do I really show how exciting that is? And do I really believe that the gospel message will save others?

Because surely if I really believed it, if I really lived it out, if I really spoke it out - then people would be following me to church like the children followed the Pied Piper (only with a happier ending). Am I, are we, so caught up in making church relevant with the latest technology, or trying to come up with the coolest idea to attract people into church, that we've forgotten our first love?

Yes, as I said, there's a time and a place for everything else. But.

Gospel excitement is infectious excitement.

Just a thought.


Blogger Wolfsong said...

Wow. We need more posts like this because a nice summary of the Gospel is good to have in our minds and hearts. I have a question though, is it really that easy to tell people about the Gospel? I know it's upto God to actually open their hearts but what if we put them off church? For instance, I know a lot of atheists and skeptics (I can even think like a skeptic if I wanted) and I know that to them, being a sinner is irrelevant (in fact, they think it's a strong word because they don't consider not believing in God to be a sin!) and they do tend to find the evangelists who scream on tv a bit of a joke and dismiss them as fanatics! I guess we could only convince them with our behavior and hope it will counter their wrong notions about church. Church is fun! I love mine..we have great worship sessions, we go out for coffee, movies, discuss life, look out for each other and have fun! It only feels great because we know the one true God, the one who is real and worthy. God bless!

12:36 AM  

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