Louise recently attended a study on Re-imagining Church led by area Bishop Linda Nicholls. Following are some of her thoughts and impressions.
It’s not that the church of God has a mission in the world, but that the God of mission has a church in the world.”I went into this study comfortable as a Christian, sitting in the pews on a Sunday morning, being fed the Word of God, sometimes wondering how we, at St. George’s, could make ourselves more inviting and welcoming.
The bishop challenged us in this study to quit focusing on our church and bringing people in (not that that’s not important) but to find ways to take the church out into the community. We must find a fresh expression of church for our changing cultures, to benefit people not attending any church.
Church once formed the focal point of our communities. How do we make it relevant again? If you asked people on the street what our church building means to them or to the community, how do you think they would answer?
The church must be like water – flexible, fluid and changeable. Water doesn't change but the container might. Jesus taught his disciples through example and sent them out (Mk. 3:13-14). He promised that he would be with them “always, even to the end of time” (Matt. 28:20).
Confident in God’s promise, we are to go out and spread the Gospel. We are to listen carefully, to connect with people through loving service, to form community (not necessarily in a church building), to evangelize through example and to show our Christian love through our actions. Amazingly this can evolve into worship.