Someone asked me today, 'What is going on in your church at the moment?'
The question rather stopped me in my tracks. It is frantically busy right now, with lots and lots of stuff to get done. Some of it might even be important, just possibly. But it's useful to be stopped in our tracks every once in a while to ask the question. In the good old 'Seven Habits' terms, it's taking time to sharpen the saw.
So what is happening?
There is stuff to do with buildings, there is stuff to do with events, there is stuff to do with planning activities and worship in the future, there is stuff to do with people and what they are doing, what they want to do and what they will actually do. There is stuff from well away that is good and stuff from well away that is toxic. There are demands, there are gifts, there are plans, successes, failures. People, ideas, animals, time to be consumed.
Lots of stuff. Plenty to keep everybody busy.
But I read a salutory lesson in an old friend's blog last week: Vicars that don't pray. There is a real danger in all this busyness that the one thing that actually matters gets squeezed out. And all those things that are going on only really matter if God is being paid attention to somewhere in the middle of it. We are not a heritage preservation society, we are not a minor IT firm, we are not an entertainment provider, we are not a social club, we are not a counselling organisation, we are not a slightly posh group of cross-dressing men.
We are a church.
A church might end up looking a bit like all those things, which is fine - absolutely perfect. But a church is Christ's body on earth, and a place for encounter with God. It is a living community, in our case managing to be busy, but with God at its heart.
What is going in the church at the moment?
Lots of stuff.
What should be going on?