Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Getting them into Church - it's not enough!!

Had a great discussion with someone who was trying to convince me that 'getting people into the church building (especially with regard to Christmas) was enough!'

I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to convince them that whilst it was indeed good to get the people in, it counted for little other than a round of applause from those who wanted to count the number of people through the doors and perhaps those who assume that these convert into some form of income!

It doesn't matter how many people we drag through the doors if we fail to preach Christ - Baby, Bloke, Broken and how He was raised again FOR US!

If Immanuel (God with us) become merely 'carol time' and if Advent is set aside for Argostide then what on earth are we playing at?

But try as I might (and believe me, I did try) I couldn't get past the fact that what made a successful Christmas for this church (if I'm not mistaken) was that Christmas - it's all about numbers!

Oh yeah - and that Hallmark tableau moment when the kids, dressed for the part, have their photo's taken the grandparents sniff at the sight.


UKViewer said...

I wonder if that many people on PCC's actually think further than getting more bums on pews when they are engaging in mission related discussions.

The church itself doesn't help when it talks of "Going for Growth" as their tag line, but doesn't emphasize that it's about Jesus' mission for his church, to go out and to make disciples. My emphasis is on the GOING OUT, not necessarily the bringing in, although this is a desirable end, with a view to them, being developed, empowered and enabled themselves to go out to share the good news.

Pete Broadbent put out his manifesto early last week of "20 quick fixes for the CofE".


Lots of good stuff there and management speak throughout, but not a lot of mention of Jesus, or God's Grace, so to me anyway, not entirely convincing.

I know that he meant well and is seeking to build the Kingdom, but I'm not sure that the Church is ready or receptive to such initiatives - and even if it was, it would be down to the PCC's to implement with their focus on bums on seats, so back to full circle.

When will we start "The Evangelisation of England" by sending out all in mission, not just the few volunteers? When and how will we mobilise all of our members as evangelists for life, for the sake of the new life for all?

Perhaps the church needs to cease being an organisation and institution of state and become a 'Mission Area" or even an "Christian Area of Deprivation" to coin a phrase to move forward.

JonG said...

Therefore go and make attendees of all nations...?

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Attendees are the root of the problem Jon - it's like thinking that being married is enough and missing the fact that it's all about relationship.

Thanks for comments,


JonG said...

I suppose that those who are simply attendees can be seen as an opportunity.
Bigger problems arise with those who think that being an attendee gives them Rights to stick their oar in if the don't get the service (if you'll pardon the use of that particular word) that they regard as their due. Some of them become pillars of the church - they hold it up...

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Some indeed hold up the church :-)

The issue is that regardless of commitment from them the Church has to be fully committed and the problem is that what we seek is a relationship rather than numbers (or at least should be) and when that isn't the case we have the recipe for unmet expectations on all sides.

No one would stay in a relationship that had no relationship - so why do some expect anything different when the relationship is Church, Christ and/or unchurched? weird or what :-)