Monday, January 30, 2006

Multiplying - or trying to

Actually, this is not about going forth and not really about making converts; it's about keeping bums on seats in this wee Piskie church. There was a new family - mother, father, two weans - in church this morning. The parents, Anglicans originally from England, loved the service. They've been involved in the C of S which is nearer their house in an effort to keep their family in church circles - Sunday School and the like - but they miss the Anglican service. So they were happy, and hope to return when their commitments elsewhere permit.

However, I sensed that the two children (12 and 8) were less than ecstatic. The building is pretty baltic at this time of year despite our best efforts, and as they are the first children to darken the door on several years there are no child-centered activities to get them out of at least part of the service. I remember being twelve. That was two years after my parents had allowed me to give up Sunday School and church after moving house. This seemed a good move to me!

So what now? Obviously a church in which I have felt young for over 30 years is not going to survive without new blood - but I would contend that it's not actually chidren we need to attract; it's younger adults who happen to reproduce. Their children will grow up and leave the area, as did ours, but they are just as likely to stay on as not.

When we had a choir the children who sang in it tended to be of no real church affiliation - they were there for the music. A few were confirmed, but, bright as they were, they went off to Uni and that was that. Their parents might come to hear them on special occasions - but not often.

I reckon I'm of the "come and see" school of thought on this. If people want what we have, that's all that's needed. If not, then no amount of tub-thumping is going to change their minds. But I'd like to hear from anyone with a better idea. Just remember: average Sunday congregation = 15-20.
Average age: late 50s.

The music is great. And we do incense on high days!

4 comments:

  1. Jimmy7:18 PM

    Churches are only abandoned by people
    a long time after they are abandoned by God
    I suspect that in the area of your church there is a lack of people whose faces would fit
    If you want your church presence and building to survive you will (as a church)have to get down on your knees and pray for it
    I have heard from a reliable sourse
    that prayer is greater than preaching

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  2. I'd be interested to hear more of what you mean by "people whose faces would fit"!
    It's of interest to me that in fact there is now a greater sense of God in this church than there has been in the time I've been worshipping there - and a greater sense of prayer. It's how to share that that is my problem.

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  3. Jimmy8:51 PM

    The universe itself cannot contain God
    yet we think we have him contained within the walls of a shed we call a church
    The Earth is a Church
    If the people wont come to your church
    then you must take your Christ to the people
    If you really want them they will come that is if you are willing to pay the price

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