How to promote the purposes of God for those who gather weekly in its pews?
How to breathe new life into the moribund and dying body of the church?

Reimagine the Role of Church Reimagine the Role of Church

The church imagines itself in a position of power
dominating the spiritual lives of those in its selected domain.
It sees itself as divinely anointed and appointed
and behaves accordingly in its rituals .

That power has been presumed, and existed, since the earliest shaman
defined, and then took possession of, the spiritual interface.
It lay, largely, through the presumed control of
the entry criteria for everlasting life and
the very human fear of non-being.

The advent of general literacy and the growth of critical thought,
along with scholarly analysis of scripture and church history,
has nullified the advantage that lay at the root of that power.
The church needs to adapt to a population which is
as educated and knowledgeable as its employees,
and be willing to look critically at
its ancient preconceptions.

The preaching of a message bred in the nursery
no longer meets the needs of modern man.

Reimagine the Doctrine Reimagine the Doctrine

The doctrine of the church presumes to define
the criteria to be met for divine reward in a post-mortal existence.
The doctrine is spelt out in ancient, foundational, Creeds, and
in such pronouncements as those of the Evangelical Alliance.

These Creeds are statements formed by ancient warring bishops
to exclude all of those with whom their theories disagreed
and so formed a litmus test for correct belief in their time.
They are statements which the church dare not discard.
Yet the foundations of their theories have become
largely untenable to modern man.

The prouncements of the Evangelical Alliance were formed
to counter the liberal tendencies arising from the Enlightenment.
Such revisionary and protective concepts seem to have become key
to the leadership of the embattled churches of today.

As a result many have turned their back on church activities;
repelled by a doctrine that neither makes any logical sense,
nor relates to the realities of the world around them.
They reject the concept of divinity
along with the doctrine.
Throw out the baby
with the bath-water.

In place of the antiquated myths of ignorant priests
and uneducated superstitious followers,
can we find a faith suitable for today?

Maybe we can focus on our human needs,
on how we should live or treat each other,
rather than on any spiritual relationship,
or meeting the invented needs of divinity.

Maybe we can even find such guidance within the teaching of Jesus,
once unencumbered by a super-natural camouflage.
Maybe we can focus on the needs and purposes of God
rather than on the self-centred needs of mankind.

Reimagine the Purpose Reimagine the Purpose

Many have come to realise that:
* God does not need our praises,though some may need to praise.
* God does not need our prayers, though some may need to pray.
* The "Holy Sacraments" are but human inventions
designed to centralise priestly power.

Many turn away from such set words, said solemnly,
promoting dubious concepts of ancient origin,
which bear little relation to our lives today.

If the people are to gather, it must be for a purpose;
something vital to their immediate concerns or daily lives;
something that they would discuss in the shops and pub;
something for which they desire expert guidance,
or a group with whom to share ideas.

Therein could be the role of church today,
but that needs a major rethink to its ways.

Reimagine the Liturgy Reimagine the Liturgy

The teaching or Talk
Not a lengthy diatribe to a captured audience
centred on some bible text set for that day,
but a lively discussion on God's view
of something of current concern,
maybe centred on a bible text.

The music and singing
Let it be a background to what is done,
there, but often unnoticed, setting the scene,
not something with which we must partake,
are called to join in with, obediently,
stating that to which we may disagree.

Intercessions and Prayers
Make them calls for help and assistance
to which church members could respond.
Practical petitions for those in need,
or times of silent consideration
times to listen for God's voice
and the direction of the Spirit

Reimagine the Focus Reimagine the Focus

Not on the God we have not seen,
but on our neighbour, whom we have;
Not on concepts we hardly understand,
but on those we know all too well;
on pain, loneliness, insecurity;
the needs of those around us
and what we can do
about them.

Reimagine how we Meet Reimagine how we Meet

Many realise that God can speak to us outside the church.
Maybe then we can abandon our castellated buildings,
meet and pray and praise in our other venues,
share fellowship in smaller, closer, groups,
discard the administrating hierarchy
that dominates religion.

Maybe then we can breathe new life
into the moribund and dying body of the church