As I write this we are 2 matches into the new season. It isn’t going too well for Steve McLaren’s Black and White Army, but it’s early days and there is something of a crisis at the Stadium of Light which makes Newcastle fans realise that matters could be worse. As a new football season begins it quickly becomes apparent which clubs have progressed and which clubs are no better or even worse than last season. Yesterday’s heroes are rapidly overtaken if they dare to rest on their laurels.
As we begin a new church year, a new season as it were, I have been reflecting on the changing nature of what it means to be a church, how successful ways of being church in the past have been overtaken by a fresh understanding of what the church is and how it relates to the community of which it is a part.
This is a huge subject and the space available to me here is very limited. But, briefly, here are 3 examples of what I am thinking of. Firstly the church has been quite rightly challenged to review its approach to Ethics, particularly in the area of human sexuality. Secondly there have been huge changes in the way we worship, especially in the eclectic range of music and engagement with the visual arts. Thirdly in order to communicate effectively progressive churches have adopted a digital strategy employing social media.
If individual churches are to survive and grow into the future they will need to be aware of these and other trends, embrace them and respond appropriately. In order to think through our response to the context in which we exist the Church Council agreed to invite the church congregation to an Away Day on Saturday September 26th. We will meet at Kibblesworth Methodist Church, starting at 10.30am and finishing at 2.30pm. More details will be available soon. Please keep that date free if possible, your contribution to the discussion will be greatly appreciated.
Grace and Peace