Thursday, May 18, 2006

Should I stay or should I go?

What a great song, I love The Clash

Following on from some other thoughts. What do you think about modelling new kinds of missional communities? Should we stay in our normal church groupings or as I have said before should we get out and model something new. I am thinking about the Charismatic movement in the UK most of the early leaders started out in the bretheren church and then went on to model something new. I have a feeling this could happen again.

As long as it is not a negative reaction. Brian McLaren makes an interesting observation on post-modernism, he says that a lot of what is labelled post-modern is actually anti-modern. What we do must not be in reaction to church as it is right now but as a reaction to the world and the state it is in right now.

I would love to see post-modern missional communities co-existing alongside mainstream church. Has anyone else ever got a bit worried that we actually think a post modern church is one were we have a congregational meeting without chairs, a few candles, a DJ and the preacher talks from a video clip and then we have groups to discuss and dialogue around the questions. Is this post modern church or just a revamped and tweaked version of what we already do? By the way this would be my favourite type of congregational meeting.

Although living here I have also found I miss charismatic worship, it's my tradition it used to bore me, but now I miss it! I like goose bumps and climatic worship; were we enthusiastically sing the song 15 times and the end line of the song 34 times and then sing in tongues for 14 minutes whilst the leader neatly switches keys and moves us onto another level of intimacy and ecstacy, someone then brings a prophetic word whilst minor keys are played and we all feel greatly blessed and encouraged the worship lifts again and on we go. It's true I love it. Although the community we end up with here in Ibiza will probably never go there...

I am going to the Anglican church on Sunday which is also good, such powerful words to read out loaded with meaning and very deep.

Baptist churches are also great, i like the idea that once a month they do a communion service and treat it all very seriously, what a great occasion to reflect.

I also like the idea of bread and wine anytime we get together.

I have come to the conclusion that in the past I have been narrow and exclusive in what I deem to be a correct outworking of church.

Anyway here's to new expressions, different flavours, creative styles and exciting additions to the wonderful body of Christ. Bring it on.


Chris Jones said...

i'm with you dude - one thing I often think we haven't figured out is how to include different ages in our communities. new communities or expressions almost always have a demographic - i wish we could be a part of building a community that had old people as well as kids and everyone in between. That seems like the bomb.

Jeff said...

I find it strange to think that we are to be the ones to bring about this change.
It is a bold move on our part but we really dont have much choice in the matter. The system isnt working and something needs to be done. This scares the hell out of me!!

I miss the charsmatic edge to. There is not alot of it around here.
We should do a conference call with Karen and Jesse and speak in tongues to each other.

Brian Heasley said...

Yeah emerging church is quite age exclusive. Jeff lets get together and sing in tongues over each other then give each other words.

lisa said...

one of my favorite things about our small community here in lisbon is that the kids are all mixed in with whatever we do and they add their comments and prayers as we're learning, worshiping, whatever. so our age range thus far only goes from 7 to 48 but this weekend we have some real live grandparents promising to join us as we gather. wow! can't wait. feels so right.

Jeff said...

I think the age exclusion makes sense. Not that I totally agree with it.
The older crowd is not as upset about the way church is as much as the younger generation is.
One of the problems I see (even in myself) is being reactionary. I go to a traditional Pentecostal church and find myself getting frustrated and judgemental. But I now see that I have the problem, not them. They are happy singing their songs from the 70s and waiting for Jesus to take them away.
The question I struggle with is how to marry the new and the old? What would that look like? I am not sure if it is even possible in the sitution here.

Brian Heasley said...

I talked about this on my article on church, maybe I should do one on family, I also have another one to do about blank canvas. Lisa I love the all age family mix you get, we try it here with the boys and it always works best in the home not some formal setting. Can we marry the old and new does it happen anywhere else, old wineskins spring to mind! I don't really know....

Karen said...

ok you got me laughing out loud when I read about charismatic worship. that was so funny.
I've been finding myself so thankful for all the history and heritage and legacy that's gone before me. I don't want to change anything or refine anything or create anything... I guess I just want the Church (not Coca Cola) to be the real thing.

Alain Emerson said...

Hi brian, reading your blog here in sunny salou!! Out with the football lads on the end of season trip (which for many of them is a pissup!!). But enjoyin being present and had an amazing chat last night with one of them even though i think he saw three of me when he was talking!! Hope your good bro and i really loving your thoughts. Excited that some of our guys are heading out soon. Think it is a great team. hope your boys are doing good and looking forward to the world cup!!

Sheena said...

i've been thinking about this since i read it a few days ago. i grew up in a huge church with worship very much like you describe missing. i have been involved in a small, urban-based community-focused church plant for the last 7 years with a very different culture than the church from which we came. with ours and with other church plants, i have heard and seen many 'new' formats and approches to the gathering of the body, all of which begin to look a bit alike. there really is nothing new under the sun, though i do believe it is important to appreciate that different personalities connect in different ways, and diversity in worship is a good thing.

the thing i love about my church is the thing i loved about the church we came from - it's not about me. it's too easy to get so focused on being current, relevant, seeker-friendly or whatever and end up focusing on ourselves. no matter the format of our services, i think it takes being purposeful and focused when it comes to the gatherings of the community of the body of Christ to corporately make a place for Him.

(i started this with a thought and it turned into a sermon. oops!)

Brian Heasley said...

Great thought Sheena.

I used to think that all the different expressions of church were wrong and that somehow there should be this one universal expression that we all agreed with. Now I am not so sure, I hate disunity and fighting amongst the body. But I am really starting to appreciate the rich tapestry of different expressions of His body here on earth.