Sunday, 31 October 2010

Replanting a church

Despite being au fait with the concept of church planting - indeed having been involved with helping plant one - I had never heard of replanting a church until recently. Most of the church leadership were on a day conference on Reading and reaching your community when Martin Robinson used this term. As it became clearer in the course of things, this is when the church undergoes changes to get back on course in terms of it's mission to the community it is in.

One of the churches present shared a story of how they made some structural changes to the fabric of the building which marked a new beginning to who they were and what they were doing as a church and it struck us very clearly that this is what we had done as well.

We were left a legacy as a church just after I got here which meant we could update our building. We took out the pews, installed chairs, rid ourselves of some 'sacred furniture', removed the pulpit. All the kind of thing that religious people hate you for doing but nearly all the negative comments we had were from people who don't come to our church and like to look in on dark wooden pews and panelling when they visit every umpteen years.

Without intending or realising it, it seems we put a new stamp on the place and it has signalled a new start for us, or a replanting if you like. I am quite excited to find that we have been doing this without knowing and it helps us to make sense of what we are doing. We have a long way to go but without having done all this we would still be fighting tradition at every corner. Instead we can move on and fight battles that are worth fighting.

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