Sunday, March 08, 2009

So your church is dying?

Here's part of what Steve Taylor suggests on his sustain-if-able kiwi blog if it seems as if your church is dying:

Keep meeting at 10:30 am Sunday. Keep the doors open. Keep the coffee fresh. Keep the muffins warm. But stop the sermons and stop the singing. Take all that energy and reclaim the time for mission. Read a creed. Dwell in Luke 10:1-12. Initiate some listening experiments. Share stories. Foray into the community for simple acts of service. Return to share stories. Re-read a creed. Re-dwell in Luke 10:1-12. Initiate some more listening experiments. Share stories. Foray into the community for further acts of service.

You can read the rest of the post here.


Anonymous said...

so what do you think of the idea Mike? This has gone beyond a blog post, to be something I am seriously discussing with a church and I need to think through the hopes and the pitfalls,


Mike Crowl said...

A few random thoughts1. Scary
2. A small church might do better with this than a big church (we're 400 plus).
3. Last weekend abour 400 people from different Dunedin churches did go out into the community and do some simple acts of service: painted stuff in school yards, cleaned up roads, cleaned up an old pond, sorted out rubbish, plus quite a lot more.
4. Did people see it as 'doing the Gospel'? (and I mean both those doing it and those receiving).
5. Was it 'pre-evangelism?'
6. As a musician, I'm not sure about 'stopping the singing.' Perhaps we need much more celebratory singing, real praise stuff - and a lot less of the 'poor me - you saved me - now I'm happy' stuff.

Anonymous said...


good to hear (3), how encouraging.

in terms of (1)in your reproduction of my post, you did not include the opening para, which set the context: "Say your church is dying. You have good buildings and some community ministry, but Sunday service is dwindling. It consumes a lot of your energy, both from your pastoral leader and your volunteers - to run sound and play music."

in terms of (4) and (5) i'd respond by pointing that one of the key facets of missional church is that God is changing us through the other, not us changing the other. So one of the things about serving and listening is that we then use these times as part of our reflection on what God might be saying to us.

in terms of (6), the sooner God delivers the church from reducing worship to music, the better :)

appreciate the dialogue :)


Mike Crowl said...

Hi, Steve, I was out of the office yesterday, so didn't see your latest comment until this morning.
Yes, I did leave off that first bit of the original post - must have been a good reason at the time!
As for reducing worship to music, well, I agree - I've had some great worship times alone on the beach - but since we do use music in worship (and with plenty of historical/scriptural precedents, then let us do it well, enjoy it, and not spend most of the time singing rubbish that's all about ME. (I have enough of ME without worshipping ME as well! LOL)
As to your comments on 4/5: that still sounds like the focus is on ME and not on the other....?