There is something about fads and trends that influences even the church. I am aware of it, sometimes I have got caught up in it and I have an understanding of why jumping on the latest bandwagon is scorned by some.
There is something a bit light and insubstantial about going for the latest trend just because it worked for some church in some city. Following Jesus is not about trends and fads in that sense.
There is something, however, in being sensitive to where Jesus is. A while back a group of us were looking at John 4 with regards to the episode of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well. (A woman I like to refer to as Samantha.) Considering this episode it was once more very interesting to see where Jesus located Himself. The timing, the location, the clientele, all in that spot at that time. All a far cry from the regular religious centres and places of acceptable conversing on the kind of matters Jesus had in mind.
The reason I mention this in the light of the previous statements on fads, is that for a number of years there has been something ‘cool’ about meeting for church gatherings in places like coffee shops and other places of that ilk. Funnily enough as former church architecture is used for other things, church types use other places people don’t immediately think of when they think about church.
The heart behind such efforts is fair enough. No need to congregate where people won’t go, makes sense to locate yourself where the people are and develop relationships there. That, for me, is sound because it’s pursuing Jesus by being where Jesus is. It’s not dismissing those who have their own facilities and specifically made auditorium. It is to stretch gathering, engaging and being witnesses to the world beyond the safety of our own patch and deliberately looking to see how we can explode love on someone else’s patch.
That burning desire to be where Jesus is certainly must compel us to see there being more to faith in Jesus than just hoping people will turn up to our building at our time on our terms and conditions.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden