Which church?

Although my church search is very much finished, I still get the occasional email about it – usually from folk interested in Glasgow’s churches, or who say they’ll pass my web address on to anyone they know of who is looking for a church in the city.

I had a very nice email in that vein the other day from someone who was referred to my blog by a mutual friend. He writes:

I attend a little C of S church, where I am an elder and organist. I helped revamp our PA system so that we can make a half decent recording of Services and earlier this year, installed data projection equipment with projector, screen, monitors, etc. Sadly, our membership is elderly, and I can find no-one to train to use the software, so have to do a conjuring act to work the laptop whilst playing the organ.It’s OK most Sundays, although occasionally it goes wrong – like the Sunday they all sang through the first verse twice without realising it, because I failed to change to the second verse!

We’re not too bad at welcoming, but I am trying hard to get rid of the pews! We have just lost our Minister, so we are a bit in the doldrums.

The main reason for this memo is to thank you for your appraisal of the various Churches in your search.Having lived in the Glasgow area for many years, I am familiar with a number of the churches you visited.

It seems to me that we almost need a Which Magazine type of study to get Churches to waken up and get out of their ruts and old fashioned ways of doing things.Your blog does just that. I hope that the various Churches read your reports.

The email raises two very interesting questions, and I’d love to hear readers’ views.

Firstly, many churches would love to reach out to younger age groups, but the fact that there are not many young folk is in itself often an obstacle to doing this. What’s the way out of this dilemma?

And secondly, the Which? Magazine idea – couldn’t agree more! Any volunteers out there?

One thought on “Which church?

  1. Question 1 – there is no way out of the dilemma. The only churches I know that have turned around have been through a minister and his family ‘attracting’ other youngish families. Whether this is through people becoming Christians, or moving close to the church building, or just being fed-up and looking for a better church – makes no difference. This is one reason why I think all ministers should either have families, or be very sociable people – they’ve just got to be because they are in the popularity business.

    The other option is just to start from scratch, and plant a new church aiming at younger people – that seems to be the way many younger Christian ministers are heading. In fact, even in ‘established churches’ new ministers tend to start from scratch anyway – ‘I’ll preach them out, and I’ll preach them back in.’

    Question 2 – Great idea – surely something like it is already out there – Ship of Fools website? But, I’m just a little wary of the idea too. Too many agendas and issues that could cause it to become, if not sinister, then just a little shady. Then again, I’m thinking about going into the ministry game, so that might skew my feelings.

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