We had a focus group tonight thinking about our consultation with the community and what it means to be church today. Always interesting stuff to hear people's perceptions about church. We'll use these thoughts and insights to shape questions that will become our consultation.
The way the church is promoted now, however, and this is the whole church, nationally, globally, and inter-denominationally, always seems to be thinking about how we can keep the church going. Some of that is really creative and imaginative.
But is that actually what we should be doing?
Given we are an institution then we tend to think like that but let's explore the question of what it means to be church in a different way: we are not here to promote the church but shape the morals and ethics of a community out of our concern for our neighbour. This is becoming agents of transformation.
I know that is counter-intuitive to the church today. I have heard so many church leaders, including moderators say that you have to let people know you are the church, that what we do is to promote the church. Is that true? Is that where we start? Or even finish?
How do we move to this greater concept of being the Body of Christ (not church): a community where the claim of our neighbour comes first before everything else and we continually reshape ourselves round relationship with morality and ethics rather than promotion of ourselves, which should be the very last thing we do?