Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

22 April 2014

The gap is wider than I'd imagined

Conversation # 1

Speaking with a friend from school about church.  I explain what our services look like and about how we have kids' activities at each service.
Says friend, "How much does it cost for the kids' activities and do you have to book in for them?"

Conversation # 2

Friend speaking with another friend about church with kids hanging about the adults listening in.
Kid of friend who doesn't go to church chimes in with, "That sounds like fun.  Can we go this Sunday?"
Says her mum, "I don't think it is the sort of place where you can just rock up."

I was amazed, surprised and somewhat in despair to hear these conversations.  But when I think about it, the further we get from the 1950's when going to church was the norm (in Australia), the further we get from people actually knowing how church even works, let alone the content of our time spent together in church.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.  I was born in the late '60s (oh, that is beginning to feel somewhat old...) and even during the '70s and early '80s I was an anomaly amongst my peers spending my Sunday mornings in church.  I've spent most of my life hanging about churches, but most people haven't. 
As I said, I was amazed, surprised and somewhat in despair to hear these conversations.  But as I think about it a little more I see that it offers another way into salty conversation with our friends, asking people what they know about church and letting them know that they are most definitely welcome.


Petrina said...

Wow! That's an eye-opener for me too. Thanks for sharing.

Meredith said...

Hi Petrina. Hope you are well.
It's a real shocker. But having almost got over the shock of it, I find my head filling with potential conversations to be had in the future.

Sarah said...

I was shocked too at first, but yeah maybe we shouldn't be. Going back 15 years, my younger non-Christian self wouldn't have dreamed of rocking up to a church without being invited by a member of that church. Even though I knew technically anyone was welcome, I felt like it was a club I didn't belong to and I needed to be brought by somebody to have a reason for being there. I guess since most other kids' activities require money and bookings, it's kinda alien to see Christian folk doing it out of love.
I reckon both you and all of us can take heart from your conversations though. You are getting to have conversations about church with non-Christians! That's huge! So many people don't want to listen at all.

Meredith said...

I agree Sarah - and the more I think about it the more excited I am about the possibilities because I think this is an easy way into a good conversation with friends. Maybe there are lots of people who would like to get along to church to hear what the Bible has to say about life, the universe and everything and maybe we just need to let them know that the doors are open.