Chopping down the sunday tree

1 May

Love this quote below which seems to being linked by various places but attributed to emergent kiwi here

‘chopping down the Sunday tree

Say your church is dying. You have good buildings and some community ministry, but Sunday service is dwindling. It consumes a lot of your energy, both from your pastoral leader and your volunteers – to run sound and play music.

Change proposal: chopping down the Sunday tree.

Keep meeting at 10:30 am Sunday. Keep the doors open. Keep the coffee fresh. Keep the muffins warm. But stop the sermons and stop the singing. Take all that energy and reclaim the time for mission. Read a creed. Dwell in Luke 10:1-12. Initiate some listening experiments. Share stories. Foray into the community for simple acts of service. Return to share stories. Re-read a creed. Re-dwell in Luke 10:1-12. Initiate some more listening experiments. Share stories. Foray into the community for further acts of service.

You get the idea.

If it fails, you were dying anyway.

If visitors do come, they are not meeting a shut door, nor are they finding a stressed group of people. Instead they are finding a warm community who like coffee and muffins. Who knows, they might just be attracted by a group of people taking mission and church and leadership seriously. In the meantime, you are reclaiming an existing resource – your time and your pastoral time – and you’re investing that in mission. And you are redefining your stretched life around mission and community.

Do this for 3 months and see what shoots begin to emerge. Who knows. Some shoots will need another prune. But some might be worth persevering with. Some might even need a new name’.

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