Saturday, February 04, 2006

events or relationships

One of the places where I wonder if Christianity got off track, was when church - even in the best sense of the word - was reduced to a service event.

I believe that multigeneration activities and interaction can be wonderful.
* Janice (my wife) and I had a great time last night with a couple who are old enough to be our parents.
* We had an equippng session at Trinity this morning on depression. We had people from their mid-teens to late 70's out.

But while there is great benefit in this, no single, or even series of muti-generational events can impact all generations.
* How can a Christian event attract, appeal and speak the language of several generations at once, not to mention the sub-cultures that may prevail within each?
* Why do we think that we can sub-contract relational essentials to "programs"?
* Maybe real church has little to do with 10am Sunday morning, maybe that’s simply a Christian event tailored more specifically to certain groups of people.

Maybe if we began to understand the Sunday morning gathering as primarily a time of a celebration. And in that context there would be teaching, because it flows out of and into worship. And there would certainly be ministry. But Sunday morning can't do and be everything that is "church."

I wonder if a multi-generational reality can really take place relationally. And that has little to do with song #231 or powerpoint projections, and sitting in rows. But it has everything to do with being real with one another while doing life together. It has to do with relationship, with knowing each other, so we can "... one another"

4 comments:

More of Jason's small group said...

I really like sitting around the table at a family meal.

It's a place where Aunt Ida and Uncle Fred can tell stories about their three-legged dog. At the same time, Grandma Ethel tries hard not to stare at the ring piercing the eyebrow of her grandson's latest flame. All the while, cousin Jimmy is sticking carrots up his nose and feeding table scraps to the amputee dog.

What if the church used the family meal as a way of doing intergenerational ministry? What if we saw ourselves as an eclectic and strange bunch who openly embraced each others' quirks and oddities rather than building ministries based on our differences?

Maybe that's why Jesus chose a meal as a way to convey the 'good news'.

Just some thoughts from one lame dog to another.

The Righteousness of God said...

Agreed - The gathering of church is more closely tied to 'relationships' and not 'events'...but I think we need to dig deeper than the surficial issues that divide us. What unifies us? I think genuine worship...love of God.

Joel Cominsky is very much on track when it comes to 'Cell-ebrations'. I believe his approach is centred on true worship...and less noise (things that aren't worship). Sunday Cell-ebration is stimulated by the body's encounter with God throughout the week.

I think the enigma that 'SUBmerging' church or what ever you want to call it...is this: How does someone or a group of people worship something or someone THEY DO NOT KNOW? I know it sounds harsh but if at the core of Christianity is the unify purpose of worshipping our Creator...this question needs to be asked.

Jesus of the gospels was highly critical of where the religious people thought they were at with God. He saw them as thinking they knew God but in reality they knew nothing of him. Jesus tagged them on this frequently and harshly.

I believe many 'know' of God, or 'Jesus' or had an 'encounter' with the Creator...But - Do you know Him? Do you love Him more than your mother, father, brother, wife and children. Is He that field you would sell all to gain that treasure within? Do you know His intimate voice. Does your heart rejoice and dance with laughter as you interact with Him?

Are you in the vine or just hanging out in the vineyard?

Jesus was onto something. Two big commands to love God (1st) and love one another (2nd). The first will precipiate the second. The second can never activate the first. The second will be fruit of the first.

This is true worship (loving God) and bubbling over to loving others inside the body and outside. This is being the 'C'hurch. Not going to Church!

Jason Mills' Public said...

A big Amen to your whole "events or relationships" dialogue.

Sunday morning has definitely lost a large part of its relevance due to programatization.

However I do think programs have become a large part of peoples expectations for being the church. This is especially true in our own Fellowship.

That being the case I'm not sure how we easily make the expectation transition. Nonetheless we're definitely moving in the right direction.

Jason Mills' Public said...

A big Amen to your whole "events or relationships" dialogue.

Sunday morning has definitely lost a large part of its relevance due to programatization.

However I do think programs have become a large part of peoples expectations for being the church. This is especially true in our own Fellowship.

That being the case I'm not sure how we easily make the expectation transition. Nonetheless we're definitely moving in the right direction.