Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Keepers of a gentle flame

I have just been to a wonderful event at HTB in London. For those of you who don't know HTB is the birthplace of Alpha a course for those wishing to explore christianity. So far nearly 20 million people worldwide have been on this course. At the birthplace of alpha they have just launched a permanent 24-7-365 prayer room. The Bishop of London opened it, and I was blessed to be a part of the morning.

I have been thinking about some stuff recently and felt it was time to start putting my thoughts back out there. My blogging has become a little tame and a bit sporadic. Probably due to recovering from what was the most challenging year we have ever lived through.

Anyway I keep thinking about the church on it's knees...

Why does the church need to spend more time on it's knees?

Because we can't do it on our own, we can't organise, plan and administer the growth of Gods kingdom, we can only call out with faith and fall to our knees in acknowledgement of our absolute and utter dependancy on him. 

Yes we have plans, initiatives and resources but if these are not fuelled by prayer they will be shallow expressions of a deeper reality. 

All the fires we seek to light must start with a spark of prayer, must be sustained by the fuel of prayer and when they spread they must ignite more prayer. 

The spirit of God is unpredictable wildfire yet I wonder if have we become keepers of a gentle flame?

As the church in the UK I believe we have got good at we do, we know how to connect, we know how to run an alpha course, to run good youth work, to engage with our communities, to be agents for social change and regeneration, we are in faith for more money, we apply for grants and create budgets, we ask the church for more. 

We make our stuff sexier, more attractive, slicker and if I'm honest it all kind of works, which is good and definitely an answer to our prayers. 

I can't help but feel there is another dimension that we need to access, another place. 

For me that place would be the edge! 

The edge of what? 

The edge between what we can physically do and what we can't, the edge for me is faith. The point where we have to take ourselves and our communities, the place where if it all goes wrong we'll look stupid and our elders will tell us they saw it coming. The place where we will be embarrassed if it doesn't work. We have to start scaring ourselves again. 

This is the place of prayer, it takes us to the edge, it leads us out in faith. This is Noah building a boat, Abraham on the mountain, Moses crossing the sea, Peter walking on water, or Stephen before the Sanhedrin. For me this is the edge.

I want to get on my knees because, although what we are doing is great and blessed, it is not enough.

What do we have faith for? What do we need faith for?

Just thoughts......

I want to get out on the scary edge again.

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