Sometimes we so want our churches to grow that we try to get newcomers to fit in with what we are already doing, only to find it’s as difficult as trying to get into that old clothing our waistlines have long outgrown.
So what do we do, missionally? There are many experiments around to build Christian community for those who don’t fit into church. Do we need to create an outreach that might grow in its own right, and not necessarily feed new numbers into our existing congregations? Kind of, “It’s church, Jim, but not as we know it”?
Here is one such attempt in Northern Ireland that is clearly bearing fruit. But how telling is a sentence in the penultimate paragraph?
We have experienced some hostility from local churches but enjoy considerable favour from the community, who have strongly encouraged us to stay and value our friendship.