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Becoming a church for the nations

by on July 8, 2011

We have been challenged lately to action one point on our vision statement:

5. We want to be a church for the nations

We will seek to learn practices and habits of cultural openness, inclusiveness, and flexibility. Our church culture must continue to change as the makeup of the congregation changes, so as to be inclusive of all. We want to adapt to help newcomers feel at home, rather than expecting them to do all the adapting. We will find expressions of the gospel that are meaningful for the people in our area.

You’ll notice that this is a reactive approach: we wait till someone comes, then we change the culture of our gatherings to include them. We’ve never seen this done before, but it sounds good, doesn’t it!

We’ve been joined lately be a Christian lady recently arrived from the  sub-continent. Her spoken English is not strong, and she’s more comfortable in her native language. How to include her? We’ve just been friendly to her for a few weeks, had her over for meals etc, while we thought it over.

Last week we asked her to read a short Scripture passage in the gathering, in easy english. One of the team practiced it with her, and last Sunday she read for us. We also found out some songs she knows, and learnt one of them at our Gathering, a simple gospel song. We learnt it in English. She then volunteered to sing it for the gathering in her language. Beautiful.

Next week we’ll learn the song in her language, and it’ll go into our regular reportoire.

That’s all we’ve got so far. It’s not much, but it’s a start. We’ll need to do more thinking about changing our culture for this lady. It’s pretty exciting for us to be at this point. The beginning of a new (for us) way of doing church: church with an adaptable culture.

From → General

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