Healthy church confusion

It is very easy to think that a building is church and it is something you go to on Sunday morning. But what if church became so confusing that everything you did was ‘church’? That no matter where you were you experienced God’s presence. Or you couldn’t tell the difference in your worship expression through a deed or singing a song? Or when you went to a place that you knew physically as ‘church’ but the gathering was nothing like church as you traditionally know it?

I think for Christendom this would be very confusing and unsettling. We’d label that expression heresy or that expression as wrong since we are ‘basing our faith on good works’. We’d say we could invite our friends to this gathering but not to that gathering – one would scare them away, the other would be tantalizing them with the things of God & enjoyable. Or personally, this would feel like church since we got all dressed up, went somewhere we recognized as a church building and sang and listened to some songs. On the other hand, a very similar activity wouldn’t feel like church but we still got dressed up, went to the same building and sang & listened to some songs.

Recently that has been what it is like for our family. As adults, we feel quite comfortable in this unsettled place even though we are thoroughly familiar with a Christendom church model. And yet, I see our children embracing this way as the norm for them; they know nothing else. Here are two experiences that highlight this:

Occurrence I: Sept. 28th – Carol and I along, with another couple, went to the Annexe’s Partick Folk club to hear a young Glaswegian singer/songwriter launch his new album. We got to know our friends better, enjoyed meeting old acquaintances, and I felt God’s presence as the MC’s traditional Scottish folk songs resonated through the room. Oct. 7th – we went to the Annexe for Mosaic’s Corinthian gathering (read church) where people came to share what was on their hearts. Daniel (12years old) sang and played his guitar to ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ by U2, Lily read a passage of scripture, Wes sang some songs, and various people shared what was on their hearts that week.

Occurrence II: Sophie announced ‘she likes going to church’ as she tucked into her scone after we ate lunch at the Annexe on Friday. She particularly likes the scones as they come with whipped cream and raspberry jam. On Saturday evening after our river clean up with Friends of the River Kelvin, she prayed a blessing over our family meal, thanking God for allowing us to go to church today (cleaning up rubbish!). Sunday afternoon as we got ready to go to our Corinthians gathering she again said she was thankful that we got to go to church. Whether it is the place (the Annexe) or the activity (cleaning up rubbish or being in Sunday school), she has no problem experiencing the living God.

Oh if this confusion was so natural for all of us.

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One Response

  1. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptHealthy church confusion It is very easy to think that a building is church and it is something … : christendom, expression, folk, music, worship […]

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