Weekly RoundUp: The Britain 2015 Edition

A slightly serious tone to a lot of this weeks link collection:

What Do You And Your Church Stand For?

What Do You And Your Church Stand For?If you introduced yourself to someone who had heard of you before, what would you say to them?

They may know what you do, but the chances are they dont know you, what you are like, and what you stand for. If you read my bio online, I could tell you what I look like, what I do as a living, I could even tell you what I’ve got up to in the past, but information like that wouldn’t tell you what I’m really like, what I stand for, what my attitude is on… well… anything.

To be able to get a handle on anything like that you’ll probably need to get past the immediate information, and spend sometime following me on Twitter, Google Plus, or a number of other social networks.

Newspapers use headlines to make an impression immediately. Now if you wondered into any newsagents over last week it would have been hard to have avoided headlines like the one pictured.

Question. If all you know about the Church and Christianity is based on what you see and hear in media headlines, what would you think based on headlines like these?

The Message translation of the Bible puts an interesting slant on John 1:14:

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

With 100 million active users on Google Plus, and 530 million on Facebook*, I can’t help but wonder: Where is our real neighbourhood?

Are individual churches doing enough to make sure people know they exists? It possibly harder then it sounds if you don’t have a nice obvious Church building. If people do know that your church exists, then how do they know what you stand for?

*According to “Google Plus v Facebook” infographic from pardot.com

Debate Tuesday: The Great Worship Questions

Normally signaled by a comment in church like “We’re now going to start our time of worship”, worship can look very different from church to church and from location to location. This is one part of the church that can create debate after debate. Instead of going into them all in much depth, heres a few debate starters to approach your friendly local  worship leader with:

  1. Why does it seem that every song has to have mention Jesus in it… “Lover of my soul” sounds way better than “Jesus lover of my soul”.
  2. Organ, or not to Organ?
  3. Why dont we raise our hands?
  4. Why do we get told to raise our hands?
  5. Why does our worship leader seem to be telling the band what to play?
  6. Did you realise that the using drums just doesn’t work?
  7. Dont you practice the spontaneous parts?
  8. Why did the spontaneous bit this morning, sound like the spontaneous bit last week?
  9. Why do we sing so much stuff by Graham Kendrick / Matt Redman / Chris Tomlin / Charles Wesley / Hillsongs?
  10. Why do we get told to lead lives of worship, but have a specific time of worship?


Any we’re missed out?

When family isn’t there…

A quote from the Shelter blog in response to latest planned changes to Housing Benefits (BBC link):

Last month’s budget revealed the Treasury’s intention to cut a further £10 billion from the welfare budget. The first reaction in the Shelter office was – how? Housing benefit has already been cut by over £2 billion in the Emergency Budget, in a high risk move that has prompted concerns of rising homelessness. But now the Prime Minister has indicated the Government is prepared to take a wholly more radical approach to welfare cuts.

Downing Street has floated the idea of banning all under 25s from claiming housing benefit. Presumably this would not apply to younger parents, although headline grabbing proposals don’t tend to have the details bottomed out. According to news reports, the Prime Minister wants younger people to return home if they are out of work, like many people working in entry level jobs.

Shelter doesn’t want younger people to move out until they are financially ready. But the Government has to be realistic and accept that staying at home is not an option for everyone. Last year nearly 10,000 households in priority need were recognised as homeless after they were thrown out by their parents. Many more won’t have shown up in the statistics and will have resorted to sofa surfing, hostels or at worst the streets. If a family home is overcrowded it’s not uncommon for older children to be told to leave. Others will have gone through the care system, irretrievably lost contact with their parents or been orphaned. Parents may have downsized or divorced, making it difficult to return.

Perfectly good reaction, but I’m sure more will be said over the next few days / weeks.

Read More on Shelter.