I am currently reading Doug Gay’s ‘Remixing the Church’. I’m reading this out of interest due to a number of recommendations, but also as part of my ongoing training as I will discuss and pull apart the content with Trevor, the guy in the Diocese who is responsible for the reflective and theological part of my ongoing training.
I particularly like a quote at the start of chapter 4: ‘There is always something forgotten that can be remembered and something not yet learned that can be discovered‘. As far as worship and ‘being church’ goes that kind of sums up what I am trying to achieve and, essentially, what I am about.
Somehow, and in some way, if church is going to be relevant to spiritual seekers of today then she needs to be able to sit in that space where she is able to reclaim practices from our tradition as well as dream and create as she learns new things. I have written of the need for a ‘rolling reformation‘ before but I think Doug Gay’s language of remembrance is far more helpful here as we try to rediscover practices that we used to do but, for some reason or another, have forgotten about.
From my point of view, as someone that is trying to birth new ways of being church with people that don’t connect with inherited church as it is, the sitting in between space is not a particularly comfortable place to sit. It is often a space of confusion and tussle for myself and a space full of misunderstanding for others. As things are remembered and things are learned it become a space that is constantly moving and regularly changing …. a rolling reformation of thoughts, beliefs and practices. A space where I regularly re-think, change and have to admit I was wrong. A space of change … It’s certainly not a boring space …
So … the unending question remains … what has been forgotten, what has yet to be learned ….
For me, the first thing that comes to mind is that the church often forgets that it should be fundamentally concerned with people (and therefore relationships). Too often in my experience, church seems to want to think of itself mainly as an institution rather than a family. When it does that, it gets wrapped up in issues of ‘power’ and ‘influence’. One sign of this is the increasing use of business buzz words like ‘strategy’ and ‘policy’. I don’t necessarily think that those terms should be banned, just that first and foremost church should be about caring and relating to people. I don’t want to be discipled because that’s a church policy, I want to be disciplined because I am cared for.
That’s just my two-penneth!
Matt … I totally agree and think you put yourself down with ‘two-penneth’ worth comment because it is crucially important to remember that relationship is key and central.
Church is all about relationship as God is all about relationship … although I know of churches that use that language as a way of avoiding engaging in their community as they view the word ‘family’ in a very insular way – as in the people ‘in here’ are family … those ‘out there’ are not ….. so it also needs to be taken carefully
thanks for your comment 🙂