Fewer blog posts recently due to pressure of work!
At the Church Meeting earlier this week I asked, as a throw away question, how many people wished they had more friends in church. The answer, it appears, is almost everyone. If I had shown greater presence of mind I would have tried to get some feedback and ideas about how we could facilitate this, because it isn’t as easy as it looks.
The numbers of people in the church here mean that no one is ever going to get to know everyone else and the pressures of life mean that people struggle to find time for things. So it will not be easy. Yet while we have a variety of small groups including traditional home groups, men’s groups, prayer triplets and others there is a desire for more relationship building than simply being part of a small group and occasional social events.
So the question remains, ‘how do we help people to make more friends in church?’
Encourage people to hold simple meals with 4 other people they don’t know – one does main and the others bring a starter, or a dessert, or something to drink!
Hi Neil, hope it’s not a bad thing to be diagreeing with your own minister on his own blog page, but here goes… I was one of a few people at the church meeting who didn’t put my hand up in answer to your question (and was the subject of a few raised eyebrows from those around me!). I don’t particularly want more church friends (that’s not to say I don’t really value the ones I have – I love them!) – what I want is more non-church friends! The question we should be asking is ‘How do we get more non-church friends?’. I think Julie’s reply goes someway to answering this. At the church meeting you also asked the question ‘what should we do with our sunday evening service?’ I suggested to the couple sitting next to me that we should have it at the pub. They laughed politely but clearly thought I was joking – I wasn’t! Don’t get me wrong, I value my church, I love the worship, the teaching, the Sunday club, the fellowship etc… but I keep on feeling that if we are really to see the numbers coming to the Lord that you talked about happening in PBC’s past, we should stop rearranging the chairs (literally and metaphorically!) and get out there and ‘do church’ where Jesus and his disciples did – out in the ‘real’ world!
(Loved the youtube video by the way!!!)
oops sorry – I got confused. My last posting should have referred to Kez’s comments about groups involving non-church people rather than Julie’s which was aimed at church people and which by the way we have already tried, but doesn’t fit everyone’s situations.
Jane: to blog is to invite comment, so feel free to disagree. It’s as we share and discuss ideas that they get sharpened and we deepen relationships. One of the problems with church is that somehow we are not good at discussing things without the subtext that someone must win and someone must loose: church meetings are sometimes particularly bad in this respect.