Sunday, 2 February 2014

Churches can be perplexing places sometimes

I went to my home Church today as a member of the congregation with my family.  It was a fairly traditional service led by our minister, no doubt in part due to the majority of the worship group being away on a visit to a church up in Norfolk, East Anglia.

The service was a Communion Service and during the sermon, the minister made some really good points about how Luke pointed out equality between men and women, something new and v challenging in the Roman Empire and 1st Century Judea, often by counterpoising men and women in his stories, thus providing women with a voice and giving them a presence.  He also pointed out, that people don't get killed for spreading love.  Jesus challenged the world view of his time, which is why he was lynched.

Of course God had other ideas, and 3 days later his Son came back!

And then onto the funny happening.  or not so funny depending on your viewpoint.  I was grabbed by someone from the pew behind me who started to rather berate my for being quiet and reserved when I come to Church.  I think the message was that he rather expected me as a local preacher to spread myself around the church more readily.

He may be right in his request of course, and I promised to give his opinions full consideration.  It does and has given me cause to reflect.  What was he asking?  And Why?

One thing I do know is that Jesus never let his behaviour be dictated by those around him.  He listened to the voice of his Father, and his Father alone.  There are plenty of times in the Gospel when we see Jesus seeking solitude and going in a path that his followers were not expecting.

I am reticent by nature, though firmly believe I have a calling to preach, and when I do, I believe I pass on what God wants me to say.

Is there a pressure within churches today to be more extrovert, and if so are we in danger of creating a barrier to those like myself who are naturally more introvert and shy by nature?

Churches of course a filled by all types from the community, but does that mean that as a preacher we have to become all types to all people, even when we are a member of the congregation and not there as a preacher?  Paul argued that he tried to become all types to all people, but history also suggests that Paul was always ready for a an argument, and normally got himself into some sort of affray.

It remains for me an interesting and perplexing point to ponder.

I have opened this blog for comments from anyone, since I noticed the other day that it is being read throughout Europe and the USA - well that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I was surprised that anyone would read it at all.