From Our Minister's Work Station
From Our Minister's Workstation
Recent copies of the minsters letters from our Minister Brian. ...more

31/03/11 Now the Church is a tad different to the Car Phone Warehouse

Mary Portas, business woman and fashion guru recently turned her attention to customer service. She had previously done a series of programs and articles on revamping failing businesses. Anyone who read her articles or saw the programs may well have been impressed. She saved failing fashion businesses, revamped a green grocer and bounced an estate agent into the 21 century – they actually told the truth about property.

I warmed particularly to her interest in customer service, her findings were shocking. Staff lied about products, queues abounded, shops were untidy and staff omitted vital information. To make things worse Staff lacked motivation and Management did not agree with one another. I wondered what Ms Portas would make of the Church, when I mentioned this to a vicar he said “Oh please don’t let her come to our place.”

Now the Church is a tad different to the Car Phone Warehouse ( the coverage is better and you can always get a signal). We provide a different variety of worship experiences even within a denomination. We are prepared to do things for those who are not involved with the Church. We are holistic (can have a part in all aspects of life). We have diverse opinions on worship, prayer , scripture, theology, witness, buildings, dress, social life……..Mmmm, perhaps I don’t want a visit from Ms Portas either.

The big challenge for the Church is upon us once more with the Celebration of Easter. It is a joyous statement to the world of hope and peace. Jesus’ death does not bring an end to a promising story. The Resurrection of Christ amazes a bewildered group of followers but then inspires them. It kick starts a worldwide church that surges through the generations. It brings hope and takes away peoples fear of death, Alleluia. It should also be advertised widely.
However, the controversy of resurrection provides a challenge to all followers, ‘can we attempt belief in the resurrection of Christ’. This is a core value of the Faith, it is the thing that all Christians need to address and clergy need to agree on and preach. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 speaks at length on the resurrection. He is clear, verse 14 “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith”. Paul speaks in previous verses of those who met the risen Christ and of his own experience of grace in Christ Jesus. It is something that each of us needs to ask for if we struggle with belief in the risen Christ. It should not be something that is left as a grey area for all time.

I don’t know if Mary knows much about Christianity but if she dropped by she would probably ask the Church ‘do you believe this stuff and are you willing to ‘sell it’ to the people in the street’. What a challenge and somehow I think Paul and Mary might have seen eye to eye on that question.

What would you reply?

Happy Easter