Well, today I actually led worship for the first time in a ‘mainstream’ setting since before I got married. One of the minor frustrations of life as a HQ bod is that I don’t get to do much of what God called me and equipped me to do. Nice church, good people, really exciting and aware group of kids looking for the way forward. It seems that the message that I brought to the trad corps up the road was one that was just as important to this group of young people – that they need to start to take responsibility in being part of the whole Missio Dei thing…living, burning, crazy examples of God’s grace in the community they are called to serve. I get the feeling that my ministry here may be more about this kind of ‘releasing’ – if I can be the one who does this – more likely it’s God using my blabber to make people think? The question I asked them is one that I struggle with – would I want to bring a mate to my church on a Sunday?
How do we start to think about church beyond the Sunday? Many SA churches are already doing this through community work and living out the whole grace thing, but more than that, how do we introduce what we call ‘church’ to whole generations of people who have never experienced anything quite like sitting in a building, singing the same words as everyone else and listening to someone lecturing them on how to live their life. It’s completely alien to the average 26yr old, white, newly married male. No wonder the world thinks we’re freaks! And not just cos of all the good reasons that Paul lists in his letters! Because of the way that we’ve designed the way we expect to interact with God…music, exposition of the word, prayer…sometimes I wonder if we have planned God out of worship and limited what he can do as we’ve worked out what we’re comfortable with. That’s a real challenge to me as a ‘spiritual leader’.
Church has to become every interaction with anyone, whether saved or not, in the ‘church building’ or not, displaying grace, being ‘relevant and authentic’, whatever the heck that means!