This weekend has been taken up with hen night activities for Lis and therefore much dancing (and now much aching feet!). Being out on a Saturday night is always a bit of a shock for me as I am usually working and being out at a comedy club with disco was a pleasantly different from the norm. However I didn't leave my ministry behind and being in that place made me think just how irrelevant Church, in the traditional sense, must be to most of the people I was dancing with (even thought there were at least 60 people out on hen or stag nights that might well be a preliminary to a church wedding).
Then today I saw on Lev's blog this link to a "news" story about a new style of church ministry. Much of what is described as "new" is the kind of thing I have heard of in various places over the past few years. I think this is in so many ways the way forward for us and is the way that many churches are already going. I don't have any answers to it but having attended our Harvest Festival service this morning, which closely resembled the Harvest Festival service when I was 6, I think there must be some way we can engage people in something new. This is a service which existing church-goers seem to find compelling yet I can imagine that somebody who had walked into our church today would have found it all rather strange and old fashioned.
I think the way we do youth ministry is often much more responsive to those we’re endeavouring to reach than our ministry with all ages.
I was talking about this with my friend and she pointed out that even though there were vast hordes of people strutting their funky stuff with us, it didn't mean that they wanted their whole lives to be like that and they might well want some space and reflection time which church could offer.
Would they KNOW that Church could offer them that though?
I don't think it's up to them to find out. It's up to us to show them. How? Now that is the question!
We are fortunate at All Saints' to have a new community missioner, Nicky, who's main task is to look outside our congregation to the community and work on engaging not with those who know church but with those who would never even have thought of it.
I know I’m pretty new at looking at all this and there are much more experienced and well-read outreach/mission people out there (I await comment!) but these are just the beginnings of my musings.