Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Five - What I Want in a church

I haven't done the Revgals Friday Five for awhile, but this is a great way to get back into it. Thanks Sally!

Her inspiration is this address from the Eunice Attwood, Vice President of the British Methodist Church.

I want to be part of a church that is prayer-filled -
A church that is resourced and sustained by the Bible,
A church that can offer hope even in a credit crunch,
A church that can live well with difference and diversity.

I want to be part of a church that welcomes the wealthy, those who have power and influence -
A church that knows how to party and celebrate life,
A church that acknowledges death and speaks boldly of resurrection,
A church that doesn’t pretend to have all the answers but encourages all the questions.

I want to be part of a church that throws parties for prostitutes -
A church that welcomes those who seek asylum,
A church that longs and yearns for justice,
A church that listens to those no-one else wants to listen to.

I want to be part of a church that believes in transformation not preservation -
A church where all who are lost can be found,
A church where people can discover friendship,
A church where every person takes responsibility in sharing the good news.

I want to be part of a church whose hope is placed securely and confidently in the transforming love of God -
A church that engages faith in its communities,
A church that makes and nurtures disciples of Jesus.

A church where the story of God’s love is at the centre.
I want to be part of a church that offers outrageous grace, reckless generosity, transforming love and engaging faith.
This is God’s story Transforming Love: Engaging Faith.

My prayer is that by the power of the Spirit of God at work amongst us, it will increasingly be our story.

Here are my five:
  1. I want a church that practices hospitality well. One which the congregation knows how to make a seeker who walks in the door feel like they have come home. That means we have to know how to do that for different people in different ways.
  2. I want a church whose members try to look at the bigger picture of why we have certain activities and understand that community building is important, and sometimes we attend things even if we don't want to go. If we don't go, what are we saying and what example are we to others?
  3.  I want a church who is willing to go out of their comfort zone for the good of the community, both the community of the church itself and the community in which we live.
  4. I want a church with diversity - age diversity, color, socio economic status, people with special needs, the unlovable, the wounded, and diversity in family makeup.
  5. I want a church community who not only believes in Jesus on Sundays, but lives it throughout the week.
When I say this, I include me in these - I am guilty of not living up to the standards of what I THINK we should be doing.
More importantly, I am curious as to what You want in a church.

1 comment:

  1. I love your list. My church is relatively diverse in many ways, except most members come from the same socio economic status. I think that this really limits us in our ability to welcome our community, not to mention the fact that it's stressful for those few of us who can't afford to participate in many of the activities offered to youth, etc.

    Thank you for this post, Cathy. I'm going to be thinking about my own list.