Monday, 20 October 2008

sermons or shinpads?

so the weekend rolls round and it's the same old question.....

no, not why the flip did spurs dispose of 3 quality strikers and replace them with a confused russian (pavlyuchenko), a promising 11 year old (campbell) and 37 midfielders...

the question is:
sitting in rows vs running in mud
trying to stay awake vs feeling alive
boredom vs action
haha maybe thats a bit strongly worded but hopefully you get my jist.
'there's no childhood more delightful than one poised between sport and imagination' Eric Cantona
'football is the beautiful game' Pele
i love footy. i'm never happier than when i've got a ball at my feet. i totally agree with eric and pele, as a 24 year old boy i love nothing more than watching top class footballers on the box and then trying to emulate them on a sloping mudbath of a sunday league pitch.
'the Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him'
King David (psalm 103 v13)
'i am the bread of life. no one who comes to me will ever be hungry again.
those who believe in me will never thirst.'
Jesus Christ (john 6 v35)
i love God. i'm never happier than when i feel close to my heavenly father, this closeness made possible through what Jesus has done for me.
if i had to choose between my faith in God and the beautiful game however it would be like hull taking on any of the london clubs at the contest! my boots would be well and truly hung up.
God i love, church however i find boring. i have the attention span of a goldfish with ADHD and usually find myself texting or daydreaming by the time the speaker has cleared hs throat and adjusted his beige tie!
i played football this sunday (we won 4-0) and looked around at my team mates in the changing room, most of them a similar age to myself and just as ugly. i knew that God loved each and every one of them but also that the church is crap at reaching out to, and is irrelevant to these young men. young men like me.
church: a body of people who are welcoming and non judgemental, love each other, care for each other, pray for each other, laugh with each other, cry with each other and learn about faith with each other.
i believe this is how Jesus intended his church to be.
the fact is, if i go to a church service on a sunday i wish i was playing football, if i play football i don't wish i was in church.
thank you for reading, please comment and let me know your thoughts on this.......
a joke to finish:
Jumper cables walk into a bar
Bartender says : Ill serve you, just dont start anything.


Laurie said...

You've generalized the church here to all being boring. I LOVE hanging out with my mates on a sunday, drinking tea and corporately praising God with a bunch of people. I agree not all speaker are the greatest, and i'm not the best listener, but i really try to listen, and if not i read my bible.
Also, the word church does not just mean a sunday morning service. Its about a body of people that share life together and edify each other. 'The church' only survives by grace, because for some reason God entrusted church to people.... who knows why, but i believe that its important, its not always great (because its run by humans) but like all of us, it has strengths and weaknesses.

I love you. Great bloggin and writing style. xx

Paul said...

oh Laurie has put what i was going to say except the i love you and she's put it a lot better.
We also need to remember that church isn't just for us to go to and receive but for us to be a part of and give as well. The problems you describe with church are all of our fault especially if we're not trying to do anything about sorting it out (not saying you aren't)
great blog mate, see you soon

Sarah said...

Although i dont have quite the same opinion of football as you do, I do really agree with your point. I find church difficult enough and I love God and understand the points that Paul and Laurie make (and agree with them). But if, like the rest of your team, you're not already convinced then i dont think that we do a good job of showing the real message and love of God, but confuse it with tradition and institutions.
I dont think we should write off church as having nothing to offer, but get in there and do something about it. I know that you've thought about this lots and that there's dreams in you about how football and church can meet...maybe we just need to believe and have the confidence to put dreams like that into sure God gave you them for a reason!
I love your blog and would very much like to see you and your lovely lady soon :)

ScribeWriter said...

Hey know I relate and understand where you are coming from...but we must be careful when re-imagining how church could/should be that we don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
There are many things that are wrong about how we go about being 'Church' as Laurie has pointed out it's full of redeemed screw ups, but she also made a great point that Church is not and never was about a Sunday meeting.
The idea of Ecclesia (God's People...otherwise known as Church) was God's idea...the Bride for His Son! Rather than vent your frustrations at Church on a Sunday, you may do well to consider whether the set up of how we do Church, (and subsequently why you feel a struggle regarding what you do on a Sunday) needs to be challenged/questioned/or become more flexible?
We must be careful not to thrust our frustrations onto others and say this is the way it should be, for everyone...(something which I may be about to do!!!)
As you've heard me say before...I believe for people like you and me (and I would argue for many if not all others) Church needs to have mission as the underlying principle. God was originally in the world with humanity, he then sent his Son, who sent us, and then God and the Son sent the Holy Spirit...we clearly worship One who His heart He goes into the world and meets people. He is a Missional God.
We've gotten used to a model of 'Church' that for so long has had Worship as its underlying principle...which is why Sunday has been seen as the core of all that Church is...and all too often this is all Church is.
What would Church look like if mission were its guiding principle? What would Church look like if those outside of it were to say, Church is about a community of believers who are, real, in their communities, caring and love their communities, praying for their communities. What would Church look like if we actually did the things that Jesus told us to? What would our lives look like if we truly acted out the commands of Jesus, rather than just suggesting it may be a good idea to do so?
Keep questionning...keep thinking...keep challenging...keep blogging!! now have my blog name!? Ug...this wasn't supposed to get out!!

QotbPaul said...

I think that's an interesting point, but surely the church can't be purely missional? If it were then we'd be in grave danger of forgetting the needs of the ekklesia and just trying to meet the needs of those outside. Admittedly, the point of church isn't to make us "feel good" about ourselves, but it has to help people live in relationship with God. The point of church has to be to "love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength" and "love your neighbour as yourself".

ScribeWriter said...

Hi Paul, yes you are very right. If a Church was just focussed on mission, it would miss the needs of discipleship + worship and understanding God's word, just to name a few, in the same way that a Church with just worship, misses out the imperative to be missional. What I was trying (possibly poorly) to suggest was that we need a shift from Worship (the meeting on a Sunday) being the principle from which all other aspects of Ecclesia spring, to mission. As we focus on mission, the needs of others becomes paramount, including those within the Ecclesia. As we seek to meet others needs, we are discipled, blessed and encouraged. As we encounter situations in which we have no clue which way to turn, we will be driven to God's word inorder to seek wisdom and understanding, as we see Him respond to the needs of others we will rejoice and worship as we see the Kingdom expand and grow.
Two quotes to ponder on...and I'm not sure how much I agree/disagree, but they make me think. "The Church is the only organisation set up for the benefit of its non-members." "If your/group/organisation are not in a position where if God doesn't show up, you're stuffed...get there fast."
Great discussion...

ScribeWriter said... a post often did Jesus get involved in meeting the needs of his group around him...and how often did he meet the needs of those around him/outside the group?

If In doubt I think Jesus is always a good rule of thumb!!?

QotbPaul said...

I have to admit I'm not fully a fan of the church existing for it's non members quote, just 'cause I think it might be a bit simplistic, but I see where it's coming from, and I think the church today generally needs a push mission wise rather than the other way.
As to Jesus, who is our best example, he did spend a great deal of time teaching his disciples, which were effectively his church. They were definitely one of his priorities, he spent time with them and explained things to them he didn't explain to others....and it paid off!
As to the other quote about being stuffed if God doesn't show up, I love that quote! I've just put in on a stickie note on my laptop! Thanks!

ScribeWriter said...

Exactly!! Spot on!! The disciples were his Church! And it was while they were being missional that he taught them! So many times his discipleship of these not good enoughs, was after he'd done something amazing to those around Him, challenged the Pharasees, or in response to something they had seen that day. It was mission that informed their thining, teaching, wasn't in a building...and it wasn't always on a was everyday of the week 24-7.
Cor...Jesus is agreat guy to learn form...I wonder why we don't pay more attention to him!!? :-)

Laurie said...

good discussion.... i like it! I'm going to do a discussion on it with my cell group.