thoughts about what church is

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about church – why we “do church” the way we do, how to do it differently, how to involve more people… and why you’d want to change all those things.

It’s stemmed from a bit of a selfish place – I find sitting through sermons so hard sometimes. 40 minutes of listening isn’t good for a boy with a very short attention span, let alone 40 minutes of listening and trying to get something out of it. I think actually do my best learning by discussing within small groups of people – times like that really stimulate my mind and challenge my thinking. And so I’ve been wanting to push those typical boundaries of how we do church – wanting to incorporate more of that discussion and have more of a non-submissive Sunday evening.

I guess it’s about making church less of a place of consumption – you come, take what you like,

But in all this, I haven’t actually felt out of place at the place I currently go to church (tcbc) – I still feel very much at home there. I guess that’s cos, like I mentioned above, church is way much more to me than the set program each Sunday evening – it’s those conversations with the people I love, and those very intelligent conversations that make me hunger to learn more about the character of God. And music is a huge part of how I meet with God personally – so that very loud, very tight band-created musical moments (whether I’m a part of them or not) are pretty powerful things between me and God.

It’s definitely going to be an ongoing thought process. In all the changes last year and moving away from Toongabbie to Westleigh/Thornleigh, I’m discovering a new side to my growth as a follower of God, and a new side to my desire to chase and uncover more about God’s character. And it’s very cool.

In amongst all this thinking, I’ve spent this evening reading about Soma Church. It’s a church plant from an existing church in North Ryde that’s kicking off in early September, and their desire is seek to change the culture around “how” Christians do church: “for instance, the style of music we sing to, how we do our preaching, when and how often we meet, and so forth.” Very cool to read about, and I’m going to be very interested in following their journey closely.

The other cool bit about following them closely will be seeing them change the idea behind “church music” and reshaping that as well. I’ve been following their thoughts on twitter, as well as on a specific blog for their music. As a bonus, I’m discovering that a a few friends are involved in it all!

Like I wrote above, I feel very much a part of my family within tcbc, so I’m pretty sure God wants me to be there and isn’t suggesting that I move away from there… but with everything that I’ve just written about, I feel like I’ll find a great deal of enjoyment in seeing these guys reshape how they do church.

Either that or it’ll stir up more things inside my mind. :)

  1. lesley’s avatar

    The church I attend – St Matt’s at West Pymble – is exploring a similar style of service. More interactive, discussion based, etc. We’re still nutting out the logistics, but hope to start in August. I’m very excited about the possibilities it presents, and that others are also yearning for community, belonging, and journeying together, as well as being challenged to live out their faith, be real, and go deeper with Jesus. Will let you know how it goes.


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