(some rushed, scribbled thoughts…)
over the last year i’ve spent time with a large number of people, listening to them talk about church, worship, faith, life, etc.
the thing they have in common is that they all talk of how there is no space for them in the institutional church. the reasons they feel that are very different. interestingly, they come in ‘waves’. I’ll spend a month having random conversations with a group of people who are all thinking through the same issues… and the next month it will be an entirely new group of people. it’s kind of gone like this (pretty much in order):
– those who still hold strongly to christian faith, but who find that the worship offered to them doesn’t resonate at all with their lives or faith. they’re looking for worship that has an alternative style, leadership, framework [quote from a member of the Healesville community: “I haven’t left the church because i’ve lost my faith… i’ve left because i want to keep it.”]
– those who have been hurt by the church, can no longer go to a church, but want space to explore the possibility of faith [quote from someone who was part of the Waiting Room in Advent: “i had to walk around the block three times before i could come into the church]
– those who are interested in christianity as one of a number of spiritual options [quote from a phone conversation: “I’m a buddhist, but i’m interested in discovering a christian sacred space”]
– those who are interested in christianity but have never been part of a christian community, and wouldn’t know the first thing about being part of one [those in the detention centre, from community service agencies, etc.]
– those who just want ‘sacred’ space, christian or otherwise