Thursday, 1 March 2012


Something I was reading this morning sparked off a question in my mind about Church. It is about maturity and how much we understand of God and the Christian faith.

The link is to the Wordlive website; watch the little video called 'Raspberry Coulis' and reflect on it in the light of Hebrews 6:1-3.

When we put this into a Church-based context there are some questions and concerns:

  • Only 10% of Christians in Scotland regularly read their bible.

  • Even among Christians, there is a lack of understanding of what the Bible says about many of the current, controversial issues, such as same-sex relationships.

  • Our Church library is rarely-used and part of the reason for that is a generation of people who have stopped reading books.

  • There is an appetite for worship that is exciting and vibrant, but not always thoughtful and provoking.
I know that maturity is also about character and the way in which we live, but so much of our Christian character is based on what we understand of God, Jesus and the Christian life. There are some who take this seriously and are dedicated to growing in their understanding of Christian faith; there are others for whom they just don't have the time and space in their lives to do this, even if they want to.

My question is this: how do we as Church provide good opportunities by which people can mature in their faith? What kind of opportunities will you take, if you don't already come to Church Wednesday? Even more basic, I suppose, is this question - how do we inspire people to want to grow in faith?

In 10 years time, lots of Church of Scotland congregations will depend more and more on local people for their leadership. People like me are becoming more and more thin on the ground. For these congregations to survive, never mind grow, they will need people who understand the Bible well and who have a grasp of some of the important theological themes. Without that, we will have Church-lite and run the risk of superficial and shallow Church, in danger of being swept in one direction and then the other by the latest theological or social trends of the day.

Food for thought!