…Long Live The church!


IMG_2057A pathogen has been let loose in Europe, leaving devastation in its wake as it slowly dismembers the people of the established church. Creating a pandemic of disillusionment within the church and disinterest outside. I am one of the infected, though the disease hasn’t entirely robbed me of hope, but perhaps it’s just a matter of time.

I do enjoy apocalyptic movies, the likes of World War Z, Independence Day or Deep Impact. Where the world stands on the brink of destruction where all is nearly lost. Yet the human spirit to thrive is not extinguished. These movies are enjoyable as well as being horrific and certainly makes me wonder what would I do if I am faced with the end of the world!!

If church denominations and in particular the UK Methodist Church, were framed in an apocalyptic movie genre, what might its current situation look like on the big screen? We would see a decreasing remnant of the people called methodist under attack from the spread of the global pathogen of disillusionment and lethargy, and if that’s not bad enough, now they witness the sky turning against them as statistical reports crash into their crumbling religious infrastructure like fragments of a meteor.

The survivors would seek answers as to why this is happening, there would be confusion as there seems to be no clear reason to why making disciples has become so hard. Grieving what is lost much like the proverbial young healthy couple discovering the painful reality of not being able to have children biologically and in their grief asking has God forsaken us.

If we dig into scripture we discover that our current situation is not in isolation. The people of God have faced annihilation already in the exile by Babylon, the prophet Elijah felt the cold reality in 1 Kings 19 of impending doom. This is not to mention the news reports of Christians being murdered in global hotspots.

What might be our response to our denominational annihilation? Well taking from the wisdom of Independence Day, where the president of America stands on a truck rallying the troops, I wonder if the president of conference or secretary could stand on the back of a truck and call us to be brave, bold and courageous in our mission. To not keep being beaten down, but stand tall, heads held high and declare that “this day will not be our last…”

As with all disaster movies there is a chance for a restart, a new beginning. A discarding of what was and the embracing of what might be and a resurrection of the best of humanity, faith and a new reformation of the things of God.

As Gods people facing the unknown, let’s take heed of the words of the lead singer of Y FridayKen Riley, who standing before the people he is leading in worship with outstretched arms like he is embracing us all and in his distinct Geordie accent calling to us ‘come on people, let’s worship God’.

It could be that in my life time a long with the rest of several generation of christians, I might see not just the methodist church but also the broader church in this country die, and perhaps even faith in God falter and that thought breaks my heart. However, perhaps in forty years from now as an eighty year old, I might be still believing and hoping for renewal. There is the possibility that I might die without seeing it, like so many others of similar age in our churches today hoping for a methodist revival. However just as Moses died before stepping across into the promised land. I then say before my friend and my God, so be it, as Jesus said in the garden of gethsemane, not my will but yours Lord.

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  1. Pingback: Church survival bag | revjamespb

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