In my blog about inherently unstable forms of church, I mentioned my other experiment on the edge of church, which was prompted by my reading of Roxburgh and Romanuk’s ‘The missional leader’. This book club experiment is showing signs of being quite interesting. It has brought a couple of people out of the woodwork. The kind of people who don’t seem to fit naturally in the church community right now. Maybe an on the edge experiment in doing church is just what they have been waiting for.
And it makes me think. I know that the bulk of my work will always be with believers rather than non-Christians. It’s just the way I’m made and I’m very grateful that God gives us those who are great with non-Christians to make up for those of us who aren’t! But, knowing that I am primarily called to build and serve the church, maybe I have unconsciously started to hang out in the middle of the church community when actually I should be doing minstry amongst the believers on the edges of the community. The ones in the middle are by nature the ones who don’t need help to fit in; perhaps it’s the ones on the outside, the ones who struggle to belong, that need our time more.
And maybe this book club experiment is a way in with that. Maybe it will give those who struggle with being community a safe place to be church together. Not bad either if this can be facilitated by an introvert who only does community as a learnt thing rather than a natural thing – God has a sense of humour, I think!