Friday, June 19, 2015

The Fragmented Church

I used to think that one of the greatest evils, was homogenisation. I could sense that we were being homogenised in society to think the same, act the same, look and talk the same through laws and even human rights. If someone had a different view to the left, then you're a bigot.

Quite frankly, I like the fact that we're all different, with different skills. I like going to different parts of the world and experiencing a different culture. We are one body, with different functions. Wouldn't things be boring if we were all the same!

However, as a Christian, I am beginning to sense that a bigger problem, is fragmentation.

There is the attitude often given, that you don't need to go to Church to be a Christian and you certainly don't need to be there every Sunday. You can be the salt and light where you are. There are alternative services during the week, so why is Sunday so important? Are you separate from the body if you don't go to Church on a Sunday?

In my last post, I touched on how one of the great things about Christianity is its relational aspect. For one, I love and adore the fellowship with the body. It's where I get charged and energised, it's where others help me learn and grow and where I can help others.

In the old days - and maybe I just view it through rose tinted lenses as a kid at that time, but it seemed there was more emphasis on family and togetherness. The week was for working, the weekend was for catching up with friends and family. There was very little Sunday working.

But now I see the permeation of the 24/7 culture, increased shift work, night shits, different patterns of work, weekend work, sunday working. Shops and services have to be open longer to service the needs of other people. This is a trend that will continue to get worse as our consumption and expectation that we have the right to an available service 24/7. Resources and staff will be spread too thinly to cover all permutations. That will have a knock on effect. If someone has to work at unsociable hours, they will start demanding something they need at other unsociable hours.

At some point, I can envisage our Churches being open 24/7, having to turn into mega Churches so that those who want to come can come any time they want so it fits into THEIR lifestyle (in other words, Church or Jesus comes some way down the list of priorities).

But what's happening here is that our jobs with irregular patterns of work, are carving up our regular patterns of worship, family, andhobbies.

Life is about people. This fragmentation will seriously inhibit our ability to make meaningful connections with other people and achieve the fruit from what comes of a blossoming and loving friendship.