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Archive for August 4th, 2008

Simplicity – Gathering

This past Sunday morning we had a bit of a different sort of church gathering.  On the one hand, we had all of the normal elements to a normal Sunday morning for Westchurch; singing, prayer, communion, giving, etc.  However, in walking in and sitting down, you would notice right off that you were in for something a different.  

For starters, we had all of the seats set up in a circle, and in the middle of the circle was the communion.  I could go on and on about the symbolism of this…no hierarchy, equality, communion being the central focal point, but I will spare your eyes the unnecessary reading.  There was no sound system set up (this is something important because we meet in a school, and setting this up and taking it down is a big thing to do on a regular basis.)  There was no powerpoint, just a total focus on what we were there for.  From my perspective, this was something quite refreshing.  

The other part which was certainly different was the way we did the lesson.  Taylor Smith was able to lead some discussion on simplicity through meditation on Matthew 18: 3ff.  It was a time of communal learning and communal input.  There was not a long talk beforehand (I am not saying this is necessarily a bad thing), but rather the Spirit of God coming out of the conversation.  If you ask me, it looked a lot like what was going on in the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 14:26).  People were bringing something different to the table and sharing!  

Now, you might be saying to yourself, that sounds a lot like Bible Study.  Well you are right, I reckon it does.  There are of course a few additional aspects/elements which can be seen, but basically it does look a lot like a Bible Study.  My question to this is that I wonder if a “bible study” looks a lot more like what church is supposed to be like rather than what a normal church does?  I am not sure as of yet.  

I read a good book which raised some good questions about how we do things in church.  It is called “Pagan Christianity” by George Barna and Frank Viola.  If you are interested in a good quick read and some good history on where and why we do the things we do in churches today, I would highly recommend it.

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