How do you see church?..... is it the building or the people and this is a really important question.
I find it fascinating that the church in China is growing, but they are not allowed in what we would recognise as 'Church Buildings' so why do we put so much emphasis on our buildings. What do we achieve from being in a 'Church building' on a Sunday and why are we so desperate to get back into them. In many cases, and be honest here, our church buildings are a millstone around our necks.
Many churches in our Circuit are having the infamous Quinquennial carried out this year and I have already seen that some buildings need quite a lot of money spending on them and the congregations are thinking that they need to raise lots of money to get the work done.
But I ask the question 'why spend the money'?
In the book of Acts, we see the early church gathering in peoples' homes to worship and to be church and as they grew (the Lord added to their number daily!) they were persecuted and so the folk moved to others areas to escape the persecution and as a result – they took the gospel with them and the church grew and they had no 'Church buildings'
Someone sent me this photo recently – it was taken in front of the old Methodist Church in Langley Mill. I suspect it was taken around a 100 years ago. Asda is now on the site. The building and the people are no longer with us, but as church we are reaching out to more folk even in this pandemic.
I would encourage you to ask the big questions – and to pray the big prayers.
Lord, what do you want us to do, how do you want us to be church – to be your church. Amen and if you are brave enough to pray this, expect answers. But be careful what you pray for – you just might get it.
Being Church – a personal reflection from Andrew Whysall, a member of the Leadership Team at St. Andrew's Church, Langley Mill.