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Lexilogio

What makes a good church?

Its one of the questions I have been pondering as I go around different churches, and I have put the question to a number of vicars, who have been both intrigued and slightly baffled as to my quest.

1. It is individual. What is good for me, is not necessarily good for my neighbour (and certainly not my child).

2. There must be worship. Personally, I think this should involve weekly communion - sharing of the bread and wine, even if not consecrated, it needs to be symbolically there.

3. It needs entertainment for the kids (not just preaching - entertainment) Football tables, table tennis, badminton, art, lego... it needs to be fun

4. It must be friendly and sociable. People to welcome the quiet (or noisy).

5. It must be friendly and sociable. A good point is worth making twice. There needs to be events, a social calendar to appeal to different groups, womens groups, mens groups, nights out, ceilidh's, dances, suppers, barbacues....

6. It must be charitable, with time, or money. A church should be a focus for support for those in need. Signing pledges of time, publicising charity events.

7. It must have an open door policy. It should be prepared to answer to the challenging, listen to the desperate, and constantly pick up those who fall.

8. It should forgive, and not be judgemental. There is a difference between telling people what a moral life is about, and lecturing them. There is a difference between inviting them to a lifestyle, and telling them off for not achieving. No one is perfect, so no shouting at those who fall down - it's not "Self harm anonymous".

9. It should seek out new opportunities to serve the community. An insulated church is not good. Its half way to being a cult. A church should reach out. If the local school is lacking a lollipop lady - can some one offer to fill in for a bit? What about picking up litter or cleaning graffiti? Actions speak louder than words.

10. Remember - we may not know exactly what heaven is, but I'm fairly sure its not a closed shop open to a select few who happen to say the right selection of words in the right order in front of a certain appointed person. Let God decide who is welcome - and stop trying to do it for him.


Here ends the Gospel of Lexi of the Returned....
Ketty

I agree with your list and think the only thing I would want to expand is number 2, ie worship.  'Worship' does not necessarily mean the songs we sing and the music we make - everything we are and everything we do should be in a spirit of worship.  Breaking bread and taking wine in remembrance of Him shouldn't be relegated to something that's so routinely done, that we take it for granted without truly reflecting on what it all means and what it's about.
gone

I think the clergy who concentrate on their pastoral duties more than 'worshipping' a deity who is unlikely to exist are to be prized.
Ketty

Floo wrote:
I think the clergy who concentrate on their pastoral duties more than 'worshipping' a deity who is unlikely to exist are to be prized.


They could care for people without being part of an establishment in whose foundation they don't believe  . . . unless they think that being part of that establishment gives them some sort of kudos or 'standing' - in which case, who are they doing it for?  
Jim

I'd suggest that the elements of communion need not be there, nor, indeed, is a weekly celebration necessary - indeed, sometimes, a weekly celebration diminishes the joy of the event.

As for the structure?
A barn or a midden are as holy as some cathedral...indeed, the structure and archetecture may take the mind from God to the builders.
The community of worshippers are as important; probably more important, than the person  in the pulpit.
As long as the Scripture and prayer are centre stage, and all the glory goes to God, then the worship will be fine!
Paul

Not sure about number three if that's meant to be intra worship rather than extra. I don't believe in having separate or dummed down liturgies for children.
Lexilogio

Paul wrote:
Not sure about number three if that's meant to be intra worship rather than extra. I don't believe in having separate or dummed down liturgies for children.


I was meaning post service, and in another room during for the really little ones.
cyberman

Floo wrote:
I think the clergy who concentrate on their pastoral duties more than 'worshipping' a deity who is unlikely to exist are to be prized.


What about the clergy who worship a deity the likelihood of whose existence is impossible to calculate? Most of the clergy I know do that.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Floo wrote:
I think the clergy who concentrate on their pastoral duties more than 'worshipping' a deity who is unlikely to exist are to be prized.


What about the clergy who worship a deity the likelihood of whose existence is impossible to calculate? Most of the clergy I know do that.

This seems to imply that there's parity of probability between belief and non-belief, that either option is as likely as its opposite - which is not something that I hold to be true, for one (though if this is worth following up, it's best done elsewhere rather than derailing Lexi's quite specific thread, so I've opened a new thread on All Faiths and None).
Derek

What make a good Church are people who know what the Lord, Jesus Christ expects of us.
Jim

And what of those wh consider their pastoral duties as part of their worship, floo?
Worship is more than singing hymns and praying and falling asleep during sermons*



I do the first two: Sometimes I try the third, with disappointing results.

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