Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cool Church

Morning God,
Apparently Apple have the 'cool' factor,and that's what will save them from the affects of the credit-crunch.. their products certainly have a distinctive look and feel, and, yes,if I'm honest God, I'd probably like to own an iPhone... But not only are they too expensive, I'm too committed to OpenSource to really want to tie myself to one company's corporate greed again - as you know only too well God, it took long enough to cut myself free of Mr gates and his many minions.
But it got me wondering if this is how other people think of Church and denomination... I really grew to resent the way in which Microsoft worked to make me dependent on their products, and how they made me pay to get the latest update of their products, the ones with the errors removed.
And, yes, if I'm honest, I have the same attitude towards Churches which try and force a dependence on them (rather than on you God) and which want me to keep trying their latest 'cool' services... the ones that are supposed to bore me less and engage me more. But engage me in what God?
How does 'Cool' translate in Church terms...?
Is it because Alpha is cool, sanctus slick and Church-Lite hip? that they are able to ride-out the post-modern storm?
It makes me wonder God if you have abandoned the hundreds upon thousands of ordinary folk up and down the country who have committed themselves to the gospel for over 50 years and who are now neither 'cool' nor slick and who have probably undergone an operation to have their 'hip' removed.
I ask because it can seem, God, as though they don't have the right to meet with you, to worship, to be a part of a Church family anymore. A family which will at least accord them the respect they deserve for all that they have done. If you listen to some people you could be forgiven for thinking that they are the reason that your Church is declining!
I have lost count, God, of the number of descriptions of Fresh Expressions and Pioneer Ministries I have read about in the last three months which begin by complaining that their church was 'elderly'... Yet you are older than all of us. And, isn't it the case that if it hadn't been for the faithfulness of those 'elderly' there wouldn't be a Church to transform into a multi-media, spirituality mall?
What do you think is 'cool' God?
Should we be trying to encourage Pioneer Ministers to be 'cool' enough to be counter cultural? Is there something we can do God to help them see the potential and value of a strong, existing, willing, contributing community over and above a 'Branded Designed and Targeted' customer base.
After all, didn't you try and point out to us once that it's the weekly giving of the 'widow's mite' from a million and one pensions across the land which makes the difference.. or in our case, pays the stipend and keeps the doors open for Pioneers to experiment with?
How Cool is that God?

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