It’s an oft quoted phrase that the church is
‘the one institution which exists exclusively for the sake of its non-members…’
…but how many Churches actually live this out?
There’s a Church that has recently been planted on an estate in Royston by Michael and Margaret McCormack. There are two things that are worthy of writing about it: 1) The McCormacks aren’t your typical fresh out of Bible College baby faced Church planters; they are grandparents in their 60’s and rather than retirement as their goal they have a desire to make disciples in an estate that is notorious for drugs and high unemployment.
Secondly, their Church exists for the sake of the people in their community. What I mean by this is that Church on a Sunday afternoon is creative, and engaging, they don’t have hymns or long talks but do have tea food and lots of opportunity to talk and relate together.
I was asked to join them on a Sunday afternoon to teach some circus skills, lead some parachute games and also do a show as a clown. (It was as I was clowning that I was appointed/named ‘Cauliflower Chris’ which seemed to be a good name for some reason!)
The show went down well with a simple message of good news, but what really worked was the balloon modelling with a difference afterwards.
I sat for an hour or so making balloon animals and hats and with each one I asked the young adults or children if I could write some words on the balloons that would encourage them. For example on one balloon lady-bird I made I wrote ‘Light in darkness.’ I gave it to the young lady and said that I believed God would bring light to her. I asked whether she had had a nightmare recently. She told me about how frightened she had been about a night mare she had the previous night. We spoke together and I encouraged her to call out to Jesus for help when she is frightened.
After a while of doing this I had an eager bunch of children asking me what was going on in their lives right now and what did God know. It was an especially humbling time as one boy’s mum had recently left and moved ‘111 miles away’ and he wanted to talk to me about how he felt and what was going on in his life since then.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t writing words on the balloons predicting any future or secrets, but simply writing words that I felt would strengthen them and let them know that they were known and loved by God.
How are you being Church for the sake of those who are not Christians? Please let me know, I would love to hear your story and share ideas on this blog and with Churches who are asking how they too may be missional church.