As many of you will know, at the end of August I went to the Christian Arts and Music festival, Greenbelt. It is an amazing space for all those who are interested in deepening their faith and for the second year the United Reformed Church was a partner. It looked at the themes around ‘Who is missing from the banquet?’ It was looking to see how we in the church could make people feel welcome at whatever stage they are in their faith or in life.
It was a very sobering experience to talk to priests and ministers who feel that the church is not reaching the people and to hear young people say church is aimed at the older person and not at them. Those who feel ‘outside’ the church think that it’s a closed club with a set of obvious and often unseen rules, e.g. ‘You are sitting in MY chair!’
“Millennials (today’s 18-30 year olds) are extremely skeptical of traditional church. They seek a holy, transparent and identifiable relationship with Jesus. They are better educated, have great media skills and are used to a lot of information in a short amount of time, and they long to be touched by Jesus in an authentic way” (from the blog post “Millennials Don’t Need a Hipper Pastor, They Need a Bigger God”).
With this in mind, and in an effort to explore different types of worship which may help people of all ages push their faith boundaries, we will be offering an alternative worship experience at the church on Saturday 7th October at 5 pm. The service will be a series of stations for people to explore their own faith and then come together at a convenient time if they wish. It’s about non-directive worship (so there are no leaders at the front) that will enable a person to design their own spiritual experience. Everyone is welcome.
Just as we recently learnt with Andy Twilley (Synod’s Training and Development Officer), people have different learning styles to study the bible, and we know different people are attracted to different worship styles.
We hope that you will either join us, or pray for this endeavor, as we step out in faith to try and reach out to the younger generation.