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malcolm chamberlain

musings about the emerging church, mission and contemporary culture...

God is at large, intimately involved in his world in ways that the church is maybe just waking up to!

does size matter?...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Andrew Jones (TSK) posted two articles earlier this month that are well worth reading:
I love the balance that Andrew manages to strike in these posts between resisting the constant pressure towards building big church communites as a mark of 'success' and remembering that all Christian communites belong to something so huge (with its positive and negative facets) that we'll never fully get a handle on it.

Dream in Liverpool City has recently been reflecting on its own size and future. Members have commented on the fact that they value being small and enjoy the real relationships that can develop as a result. Alongside this, though, is the realisation that its often only in the larger gatherings, where people can be more anonymous, that many feel able to connect, at least initially. The Belonging-Believing-Behaving process that is so often talked about should also include an initial 'Being' - sometimes people simply need a place where they can be, and, in being, can connect with God and with others before committing to belong. Dream is geared towards 'being' in its open approach to worship - there is no compulsion to join in all (or even any) of the activities offered but simply an invitation. People are invited to be themselves and to engage as they want. However, when a group is very small in number it is difficult for someone to come and simply 'be', as they are so visible to everyone else.

So, how do we keep together the small and the large whilst remaining a missional community rather than a closed community that does large 'outreach' events?! Answers on a postcard (or reply post) to...

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posted by Malcolm Chamberlain, 2:52 PM


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