there was this old bloke speaking at my church last night. he was scottish. he wore a dog collar minister style. he sang in an opera style voice at the start of the sermon. i was groaning inwardly.

he was amazing.

seriously, the stuff he was saying was brilliant. talking about how as church, we can learn from the old celts of centuries ago in how they went about things. here’s just a few of the things he said:

:: he spoke from Acts 18 and used the concept of how Paul stopped preaching to the Jews, and instead moved to spend time with the people next door – literally. he was challenging the church to stop trying to gather people into our little spaces, but go next door to where the people are at.

:: he reminded us of how monastries were originally meant as a preparation place for mission. should we stop trying to get people through our church doors but instead be preparing people to serve God within our communities? loved that one…

:: rather than standing apart as seperate communities, we need to be integrating into the various communities of our culture. church becoming part of the of culture of pubs, clubs and other places. he went further here, giving us permission to do alot of stuff basically. at the heart of it was the question, where are the gathering places in your community?

:: “we need to get rid of the vernacular.” spoke of how we need to update our language and stop using church jargon that people can’t relate to.

:: talked about standing up for justice and being the voice for the oppressed.

and this was just a small snippet of the stuff he said. i could have listened for hours. to be honest, he was managing to put words on stuff that i’ve been thinking through and wrestling with for the last 6 months. however, until last night, i wasn’t fully convinced that the way God had been leading me in my thinking and reflecting was the best way to go. now i am.

i’m off to reflect some more on that stuff. anyone got any thoughts to add to it?

next blog i’ll maybe talk to you about the most depressing week of my life as a football fan. maybe not though as i’m still fairly gutted!