Yesterday, I handed in an essay which was a reflection on an Act of Worship at my church, St Paul’s, Newport. As I re-read the essay, it occurred to me just how much my church is doing to reach out to a culture that is completely unchurched and post modern.
A few years back, I was asked to read the book ‘This little church went to market’. You can see the book cover in the image opposite. I’ll tell you now, for free, to not read this book. Only read it if you want to get angry and get a headache. This book basically said that the church uses ‘gimmicks’ to get people in, and the post modern church isn’t at all reflecting the gospel. It promoted an exclusive Christian Holy Huddle, which neither evangelised in a Jesus Loving way, or served a Gospel that was insistent on reaching to the fringes of society.
Rather, I think that church should embrace Postmodern culture. That doesn’t mean to say that we should conform to it, but rather that we as Christians who serve Christ should meet people at their point of need, in the situation that they are in. In fact, I could argue that the church has always used the culture of the day and Christianised it! Take December 25th for example: A pagan celebration turned into the date when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
It is crucial in this day and age that the church penetrates into all areas of society, in whatever culture the church finds itself in. There is nothing wrong with cafe church, modern music, technology, or fresh expressions of church. Jesus’ commission wasn’t to create the Holy Huddle but to make disciples and spread the Gospel.
And that is what we should be doing, whether in the traditional chapel, or at the bar in a pub.