Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I couldn't help but think the other night when I was in a club called Es Paradis, pictured above, about congregations and gatherings.

Here we had upwards of 1500 people who came together for a shared experience, there was dancing and communal singing, someone led the event and took the crowd places, with the use of music and atmosphere. Admittedly a few of these people were on drugs or beered up, but it just struck me as to how there is a large chunk of my generation and below who like large corporate gatherings. At one point I could feel Gods Spirit in the room, whats that all about. God was present.

Privilege is the largest club in the world, on a Friday night upwards of 10,000 people attend, whats that all about?

I sometimes feel that within the emergent movement, there is a theology of "small" yet when I look at the non church attending emerging generation on this island, they don't want small, in fact the larger the better.

I was sitting at cafe mambo with Alain the other night.

We were watching the sunset, with a good 2000 or so people, and they were having a shared comtemplative experience, maybe even a worship moment. Watching one of Gods most beautiful creations sink into the sea, alone but together being inspired by great visuals and chilled music. Once again the Spirit was in the house....

These are all big events, big beautiful events.

Look at the concert for Diana or the recent Live world events, all big, all successful and all enjoyable, getting a message across and inspiring people to change or attempt to make a change.

How do we live with both? the big and the small, within all these large gatherings, there are smaller groups of people who have come together, bands of friends, who leave with stories to tell of great nights at big events. Memories to live off.

I know that true community cannot be experienced by staring at the back of someones head on a Sunday morning, but there has got to be something about big gatherings that are good, because there is a generation out there who love them......


Rachel said...

Love it! That is so true! I felt something similar this weekend whilst our clubbing in London with Bruce and Sarah...check out my blog! see you in 23 days!

Mark Robins said...

It seems to me that we just get it sooo wrong when we throw the baby out with the bathwater. Why does the pendulum tend to swing so far in one direction and get stuck? Then, after a time, WAHEY!, off we go to the other extreme. How about keeping it in the middle and doing it all?

Kirk Bartha said...

Good stuff B... I'm with ya!

Brian Heasley said...

I agree, we need both Mark. A balance, I once heard a small community member say "we don't want to get any bigger" this just didn't feel right.

Anonymous said...

Get a grip Brian how could God be a part of a night club sure you can marvel at the beauty of his creation but giving your heart and body and soul to Him must be the first step.

Mark (from Guernsey) said...

Very good reflective post Brian. God's spirit is in the night clubs, His spirit fills the whole earth. He created us to make music; to dance; to laugh; to sing and to celebrate and enjoy being together with friends. Yes a lot of what goes on debases, deforms and distorts the good gifts, but the ulitmate source of all human creativity is God (not the enemy).

In some senses the club scene is fulfilling a basic human urge for pilgrimage and festival. Something we can easily loose in the church. It's great that you are there - reclaiming the clubs. It would be great if an Ibiza Festival week was competing with the various bible weeks on the christian calendar!

Bless you!

Brian Heasley said...

Thanks Mark, on the ancient island of Iona there is an inscription on a tombstone that says bidden or not bidden God is present. Jesus was definitely at the club, in Spirit also been thinking about that verse, were two or three are gathered in my name there I am also, there were 4 of us in the club, God must have been there as well

Anonymous said...

Are the people at these night clubs really experianceing community or are they just in the same place at the same time? How much interaction does go on?

I think your right about shared worship that happens on a large scale, however my experiance is that this can not replace small communities because people get missed and drift.

I also hear many of my freinds that do a lot of clubbing say their happiest in the medium to small clubs for the atmosphere. It could be that, they're the exception.

I see what your getting at and I guess a system with both small community and large gatherings would act best.

I also have issues with some emergant communities being unwilling to grow because they will loose the community they currently have and I've heard others saying they want to get smaller!?!

A balance needs to be struck and I cirtainly need to think more about community, size and shared experiances both large and small. the emerging church needs to get it's head around this issue to grow as a community that has closeness but dosn't resist growth to hold on to that - there must be a way of doing both.