Posted by: robbiexgibson | 18 March, 2010

People – not programmes or buildings

Many moons ago (OK, it was only 10 days ago), after an extended prayer time, we looked at the next two chapters in “Gospel-centred Church”:  “People, not programmes” and “People, not buildings”.

We all identified with the situation highlighted in the first chapter:  a rota needs to be filled and there is a shortage of people to fill it, so we step (more or less reluctantly) into the gap.  Clearly, there is an element of personal development in participating in activities that we are not naturally drawn to.  We may discover with joy that we have a previously unsuspected talent!

This chapter, however, asserts quite firmly that the church should first of all seek to understand the gifts of its members and the needs around it; and then starting from the available gifts, identify how they can be best used.  How do we understand the gifts available in the church?  We thought the most natural way was simply to spend time with our fellow church members – get to know people.  In this way, we will discover more about people’s character and nature which helps us to see the person as God sees them; helps us to spot frustrations building up where there are unused gifts going to waste; and helps to avoid the ever-present danger of joyless mininstry, undertaken only because “nobody else will”.

On to buildings:  not much was said on this one, but we noted the fact that when it is cold or wet it is quite convenient to have somewhere warm and dry to meet!  Yes, buildings should not drive ministry (and I wonder if we spend proportionally more or less on the upkeep of our church building than our homes?) – but having somewhere constant to meet is definitely a plus.  (For homegroups-as-church it helps if the location doesn’t randomly change from week to week!)

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Responses

  1. We didn’t mention it during the session, but it came up in the Gibson household during the week: not participating in an activity gives somebody else the opportunity to participate, and through participation develop their gifts … saying “No” can be a positive thing (at the cost of additional stress for the activity organiser).


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