In 1928 John A Shedd launched a set of sayings titled “Salt from My Attic”, and the next widespread aphorism was included:
“A ship in harbour is protected, however that isn’t what ships are constructed for.”
Can I allow you to in on a secret? I have been taking part in it protected. We have all needed to keep protected these previous few years. Nevertheless it’s not what we’re constructed for. After a foolish variety of household and private medical issues, I’ve wanted to take correct time to heal and slowly reconnect with society. It hasn’t at all times been simple, particularly for an extrovert like me.
Are you now like me a bit extra danger averse, a bit extra inclined to remain dwelling? I used to be listening to a retelling of the story of the Titanic lately. Boy, was it made for the ocean (as many proud Belfast shipbuilding households will nonetheless inform you), however as everyone knows, because it turned out, the ocean wasn’t protected. However ought to that cease us venturing past the protection of the harbour partitions?
As my new music, “Not Made For The Harbour”, factors out, the one motive we will have the nerve to sail out into the more and more uneven waters of our world is that additionally it is the choice that God made. He deliberately made himself susceptible by means of the incarnation. His response to the chaos and hazard of planet earth was to sail into it, moderately than keep cooped up within the protected harbour of heaven.
As church leaders take care of the fact of not simply 1 sheep out of 100 being misplaced, however generally nearer to 40 or 50 of their flock, will we simply work even tougher to make our previous fashions work, or will we embrace the chance supplied by this sea change? (pun meant)
I like to assemble along with different believers. I am a speaker and worship chief in spite of everything. However the COVID season has uncovered the constraints of our gathered fashions of church, and now with much less individuals and monetary useful resource to proceed placing on one of the best present(s) attainable, many leaders I’m talking to are questioning what on earth to do.
Absolutely this second in historical past offers us an opportunity for a reset. The author Mark Greene has usually identified that in each decade for the reason that second world struggle, a distinct theologian has received the theological debate concerning the delusion of the secular-sacred divide. Stott and Newbigin are simply two examples. So normally the overwhelming majority of the church has given mental assent to the concept that because the Dutch theologian and ex-Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper stated, “There’s not one sq. inch of creation over which the Lord Christ doesn’t cry ‘It’s mine'”.
In different phrases God is as involved about what occurs on a Monday morning in your office or dwelling as he’s about what occurs on a Sunday morning in church constructing. He cares about taxation, healthcare, broadband and bins as a lot as canticles, carols, and a worship band. These theological victories imply all of us nod our heads and comply with that, however Mark Greene goes on to say, “regardless that that battle has been received, it has by no means led to a purposeful change within the church”. For probably the most half, our staffing, financing, volunteering and resourcing decisions sadly nonetheless reveal that we care far more concerning the church gathered than the church dispersed.
Because it turns into tougher to make the gathered as shiny because it was, maybe we may enable what God has been doing out in our world to take its full place within the rhythms of our church life.
There are stunning examples arising in every single place of believers coming collectively who’re invested in comparable spheres or sectors of society. Whether or not it is those that are concerned in politics in Leeds, the humanities in Luton, or schooling in Bristol. Their longing is not only to offer a protected harbour for Christians within the midst of these industries, however to see that sphere of affect remodeled, infused with kingdom justice and righteousness. Organising this has been beforehand arduous to do, however right here is a few context as to a different shift that makes this dream attainable (and it is already occurring!)
In any given city or metropolis, even only a decade or two in the past we might placed on our annual church buildings collectively service, but when there are 15 church buildings in a city, there are 15 alternative ways to do a service, so we did a hymn to maintain ‘these of us’ glad, a music to maintain these other people glad and a few liturgy to maintain these ‘much more different’ of us glad – they have been piecemeal, not often very satisfying experiences.
However as these similar church buildings have come collectively powerfully in motion, they’ve realised that regardless that there are 15 alternative ways to do a service, there is just one strategy to paint a playground or dig a backyard.
Deep, long-term relationships have been constructed by means of the unity that solely a shared process can convey. Listed here are the prepared and in a position volunteer pressure staffing foodbanks, working evangelistic occasions and mentoring at-risk younger individuals.
So again to our sacred-secular downside. At its coronary heart that is truly a discipleship challenge.
When you consider it, it is nearly unattainable for a neighborhood church chief to know sufficient element about say politics or any of the opposite profession paths represented of their congregation to have the ability to ask the suitable questions in assist and problem. The individuals who can are the opposite individuals concerned in that specific space of labor.
However in any given congregation there could also be simply 4 or 5 concerned in schooling, 3 or 4 in enterprise and possibly simply 2 or 3 in politics. There is not the vital mass to kind a significant group for coaching, assist and accountability. However throughout all of the 15 church buildings within the city there completely is. These teams of Christians are organically arising all around the nation. Unity is being discovered once more by means of a shared goal. It is an attractive factor. That flotilla of boats we see on the finish of John Bowen’s superb video for the music represents the range of parents from totally different church buildings and backgrounds all heading out to the ocean collectively.
We exit, realizing it isn’t protected, realizing we’ll face many sensible and moral challenges as we sail, however it’s the place the journey is and collectively we’d simply because the music says see ‘this worn world remodeled’.
As with the viral hymn “We search your kingdom” from 2021, the video for “Not Made For the Harbour” has been commissioned by LICC www.licc.org.uk and Thy Kingdom Come https://www.thykingdomcome.global who each useful resource believers to see transformation inside their spheres of affect.
Chord charts, backing observe, downloadable video with lyrics all accessible without spending a dime from www.licc.org.uk/harbour