Does The Church Have A Future?Presentation Transcript
Does the church have a future? Stowmarket United Reformed Church 2005
1. What colour is our church?
What colour would you like it to be?
2. If you drew a diagram of church life what would it look like?
The Kendal Project Christianity will be eclipsed by holistic spirituality in 30 years Only 7.9 per cent of the population now attends church, down from 11 per cent 20 years ago. During the 1990s, when the town’s population grew by 11.4 per cent, participation in the “new spirituality” grew by 300 per cent.
The Times: November 04, 2004
If you were searching for a symbol of this revolution, you need look no further than the United Reformed Church in Dent. This building was once the nucleus of the Christian community of Dent, a quintessentially English village a few miles outside Kendal. But over the years apathy crept in and the congregation declined until it was down to one. To raise money, the church hired out its old schoolroom as a spiritual meditation centre. Local interest in meditation ballooned. When the church was forced to sell the building the meditation group bought it and refurbished it.
Now it is flourishing where the old church failed.
The church is still living in the Christendom model of society.
Public worship is the heart of the church.
Takes place on a Sunday.
Largely passive experience.
Led by the ‘professional’
Not “outreach” but “drag in” shaped mission
Worship Community Mission Spirituality Robert Warren : Building Missionary Congregations What is Church Ideally made of ? ....
The Christendom distortion Getting the cart before the horse Worship Mission Community
A Mission re- discovery Worship Mission Community
3 key questions ... “ What is the mission to this area ?” “ What set of spiritual disciplines is required to sustain the community in that mission?” “ What kind of community is needed to sustain the mission?”
A possible way forward….. CELL CHURCH
Move the heart of church from congregation to small group.
The major functions of church:
take place in Cell, not just in congregation.
The Cell Group
Each "Cell Group" is usually made up of about 6-12 people who meet weekly in each others homes for worship.
All the Cells gather together in a regional church centre once a month for an extended day of corporate worship and fellowship.
The Cell exists to multiply.
Multiplication is when a Cell Group reaches about 12-15 members and 2 new Cell Groups are formed from the old one.
Members are encouraged to focus outward and reach out to others
Each Cell Meeting is composed of four main sections: "welcome", "worship", "word" and "witness"
The "4 Ws"
There is always a short activity to help everyone become involved in the meeting.
In a small group, worship has its own characteristics and singing isn't always necessarily part of it.
This section focuses on applying Biblical teaching to life.
Cell mission is relational and growing the group is the aim. Through social activities for friends, neighbours and colleagues, the cell group can be made an easy "point of entry" for people who are church-shy.
All Involved (Equipping the Saints)
Every member ministry - the aim is for everyone to become involved, from sharing in the group, to everybody in the church discovering and then pursuing their gifts.
The process of discipleship is more effective in small setting
Not just knowing the faith but applying it
Creates a Community in which there is genuine accountability
Growth is at the very heart of the structure.
No need for multiple church buildings.
Buildings sold and capital tied up is released into human recourses.