Re: Nowhere to hide
Very helpful Michael. I think that it can be quite difficult for "new" people to get involved in both large and small churches. One problem in smaller ones can be the fact that - quite literally - a newcomer is not part of the family (i.e. most people in the church are related in some way). On the other hand, small churches can be so desperate to fill roles that they are willing to give anyone a go!
Two more thoughts. First, I get worried at the professionalisation of larger churches, and not only because it enables them to put on a good "show" which smaller congrega tions cannot hope to emulate.No; my fear comes when folk say, "We are a large church, we need extra staff to run our ministries" when perhaps they should be saying, "We're a large church, just think how many folk we've got to run our ministries"! Many years ago a senior minister of my acquaintance suggested that it is the small churches which should be allocated extra staff, to "get them off the ground", with the larger churches enabling them to do so. As if ...
Second, I have more than once been the minister of a small church asking for help from a larger church. Even if the request has received a positive response, it has often come with the caveat that "we will run this for you", with the implication that "you are a small church because you don't know how to do things p roperly, we're a large church because we do". Even if there is truth in that kind of sentiment - and there may be - it still smells of arrogance and does nothing for the confidence of the smaller congregation!
Re: Questions we’re afraid to ask about the Bible
Thank you Chris. I have noticed how we leave the gruesome bits of the OT out and found your article helpful and informative, providing me with some clear counter arguments to use in housegroup and with non Christian friends.