had a great discussion with some fantastic young people down in a wee place called raffrey tonight on the other side of belfast. our conversation focused around not just ‘going to church’ but ‘being the church’. some fascinating insights and powerful moments in our chat.

one of the questions i posed was based around whether church should be more of a signpost rather than a destination. the thing about a destination is that whenever we get there we relax and remain static. because we’ve now get to where we are supposed to be, we stop looking and searching, content with where we are at. and perhaps, most interestingly of all, we remain at the destination waiting for everyone else to arrive, rather than being active in helping others reach the destination.

is this our view of church? our experience of it? that so often the main thing is to get in the door and tick that box so much that our senses are immediately dulled and we don’t look or search for more around us? and do we often act like its up to others to arrive at the destination, instead of standing somewhere along the route, walking alongside those who are still journeying.

for me, the signpost is a rich metaphor for what the church should look like. the signpost screams to us that we aren’t there yet. it urges us to keep going while assuring us that were on the right road. its useful information points us in the right way as we continue our journey and acts as a guide to others along the path.

the signpost is my story. i need the signposts that the church have put up for me since birth. informing. pointing. guiding. urging. yet all the while reminding me that i’ve still so far to go.

and shouldn’t we be signposts in our lives as well? rather than congratulating ourselves for arriving at a destination, reminding ourselves that we still have more to learn and lots to do in our quest of becoming more like Jesus. receiving help from others on the same journey. celebrating with those who make steps forward. and helping along those who have slowed, stumbled or become static.

conversation: how can the church practically become more of a signpost and less of a destination?