Don't forget that you heard it here first!
Tidying the study this morning I put the radio on and set it to search for any random station that came under the 'Christian' label. The winner this morning was 'Premier' and one of the news items that have been running is that church is boring and irrelevant.
Well I think I found that yesterday when I was buttonholed at the local Crem' but there is a bit of a worry attached to this in that one of the kneejerk responses is to decide that we need church to be 'different' and by doing so end up, like many of those around me, being different by being exactly the same as their peers. If you don't know what I mean take a look at the kids as they go to school and count how many have the same coloured hair or hair style - look at the blokes and their sagging trousers and underpants up under their armpits!
Well the same is true of many of us who lead churches in that we all assume that effective church consists of singing the same songs as everyone else and accompanying them with guitars, drums and keyboards (some even have brass and woodwind which has to be good ;-)). Having taken care of the 'Worship' (when will Christians learn that ALL the service is worship?) many then do stuff that is, to be quite honest, not only lightweight in terms of theology, but bordering on the syncretic! Not only that but I've been to Anglican churches where it was difficult to see any difference between the service there and one at a free evangelical, baptist or charismatic church gathering. The reason given was that it made the church service accessible.
Perhaps so but it wasn't Anglican and certainly wasn't sound in terms of the selective nature of what was done. There was one Bible reading and the songs were more important that the extremely light sermon (well, I assumed it was a sermon anyway!) and since they only did communion once a month (or two if the activities and stuff got in the way - and I kid you not, been there and seen it!!!).
I don't think that the Book of Common Prayer needs to be thrown out of our services. I can see within Common Worship the potential to keep the Bible in our services and still make them fresh, accessible and interesting. In fact I've coming to a place where I realise that it's the HOW that we do it that makes sense.
So seems I have theme for the next few days . . . Watch this space (and send me your contributions - I'd love to have some guest writers on this issue).