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Source: (consider it) Thread: MW 3201: Hillsong, Bermondsey
Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
I’d echo Alan Cresswell, in that I did get the impression that more of the teaching was done “behind closed doors” in small groups or other meetings that don’t take place during Sunday mornings.

Since we're discussing the "sermon" (I'd be surprised if Hillsong would call it that) and the preparation needed, there is a follow-on to my observation about teaching primarily happening elsewhere.

When you move the focus of teaching away from the Sunday service then purpose of the "talking bit" of the service changes as well. In many instances in churches I've known (a long time ago now, I admit) what you end up with is something that is closer in function to the church notices than a sermon/homily. A report from a member who has been on mission, an update on the activities of a sister church, a string of anecdotes on what the pastor has been doing during the week. This serves many purposes (which, of course, are also often served by notices in other churches) - an exhortation to praise God for what has been happening and pray for the work, a demonstration of how the church is active in reaching the community around them and an invitation to get more involved. The description in the report of the "sermon" fits that model quite well. And, of course, won't involve anywhere near the amount of preparation as a teaching-focussed sermon - there may be reference to Scripture, but the commentaries would have stayed on the shelf.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
In the baptist church I grew up in, the preparation of the sermon was the single largest piece of work the pastor did in a week.

Still is, for me ... and in my last church I had two to do most weeks.

I have rather made a rod for my own back since I've moved to my present church though as I’m illustrating everything with Powerpoint headings, pictures and occasional video – it takes absolutely ages to put the presentations together!

Mind you, I've made a

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
When you move the focus of teaching away from the Sunday service then purpose of the "talking bit" of the service changes as well ...

I'm sure you're right. And there are many folk (such as Mrs. BT!) who question the value of the traditional set-piece sermon - though I believe they can still have the power to inform, inspire and bring the congregation together in a way that other teaching methods may not.

However: the success of small-group teaching depends on what percentage of the church attends. If it's 90%, then you're onto a good thing. If it's only 10% (as per many churches), that means that many Christians never receive any teaching. Small groups may work well in a church whose members are spread out across a city and can meet in local "cells" - but that then begs the question of why they feel the need to travel so far for worship (which may brings us back to the issues of "experience" and "choice" mentioned above).

Questions, questions!

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mr cheesy
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Mmm. without wanting to get too caught up in this diversion, this is because various churches believe that faith only comes from teaching (ie the sermon).

In fact, I think this is essentially a social construct. Most people need to be trained to learn anything from this method of teaching - and most people in our times don't have that training and therefore learn very little from sermons.

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Gamaliel
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Couple of quick observations:

- Firstly, having been involved with the 'new churches' back in the 1980s/90s I'd echo what Mark Wuntoo found in his researches.

- I'd also echo points that ExclamationMark and Sipech have made, that, in general, we are seeing a lot less exegesis and thorough sermon preparation in some - but by no means all - large evangelical and charismatic churches than was the case 20 or 30 years ago.

- On the spontaneity thing, whilst some Anglo-Catholic parishes run their services with almost military precision and some of the clergy in the higher-end traditions can be liturgical-fascists, nobody in those settings is under any illusions that it is meant to be spontaneous or anything other than a carefully choreographed piece of liturgical theatre - a dramaturgy if you like. Whereas in some - I said some - of the newer outfits there's a certain disingenuousness insofar as they like to convey the impression of casualness and spontaneity when really it's anything but ...

Equally, perhaps I'm getting old, but 20 years back I was actually quite encouraged by what was happening across Baptist, independent charismatic evangelical and other evo-flavoured churches. I am less encouraged now.

Back then, I felt that some of the alt-worship experiments were opening things up beyond the standard worship song/chorus medley and that there were welcome influences coming in from other traditions - contemplative prayer, pilgrimage, neo-monastic movements, lectio divina ...

Whilst some of this seems to have continued I don't think it's made a great deal of difference - other than perhaps at a ministerial/leadership level in some quarters. It certainly hasn't percolated down into the plastic bucket-chairs ...

What was a strength of the non-conformist / evangelical tradition : exegetical preaching, close-reading of scripture, seriousness of intent - seems to have been compromised to some extent by froth and bubble.

On the issue of why people join churches like this and why they so often move on ...

- The attractions are obvious and considerable. A sense of commitment, passion and a very real sense of community. This is very attractive to people who may have moved to new areas through work or study.

- The downsides are equally obvious. Congregations of this kind can become controlling and claustrophobic. That's not restricted to this particular tradition, of course, but it is a feature.

For my own part, I began to get more and more disillusioned the busier I became, with work and family commitments. Also, as I took on more responsibility and gained more managerial positions I didn't want pat and glib answers nor did I want to feel manipulated by worship-leaders and pastors/elders. I'd have rathered go on a Trappist retreat than sing inane worship-songs over and over and over and over again ...

The final straw for us as a family came when we realised that we didn't want to expose our kids - then 4 and 2 - to full-on, manipulative charismania. The thought of people trying to manipulate my kids and try to induce them to 'speak in tongues' and so on filled me with horror.

I also had some run-ins with some highly officious stewards when what I felt were unreasonable demands were placed on my wife and very young kids when the kids were acting in the way kids normally do and playing and talking during the service. On one occasion it almost came to blows ... the closest I've come to wanting to punch someone on the nose in church ... or any other context for that matter.

As to where people go once they've gone through the revolving door ... well, in my experience they go in several possible directions:

- Most commonly, into more 'moderate' churches, generally Baptist.

- Into limbo, some kind of church-less faith or some kind of 'ghost-church' where they spend their time bemoaning what's happened and where they think things went wrong.

- Occasionally, and this is more rare, into liturgical/sacramental settings where there is still a sense of mystery and the numinous but without the ra-rah-rah and noise.

On the whole, they would tend to avoid MoTR churches like the Methodists or URC because they've been conditioned to believe that they are 'dead' and the people there aren't 'real Christians'. That said, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law have ended up quite happily in Methodism.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
However: the success of small-group teaching depends on what percentage of the church attends. If it's 90%, then you're onto a good thing. If it's only 10% (as per many churches), that means that many Christians never receive any teaching. Small groups may work well in a church whose members are spread out across a city and can meet in local "cells" - but that then begs the question of why they feel the need to travel so far for worship (which may brings us back to the issues of "experience" and "choice" mentioned above).

All very good points. And, part of the answers to the questions is going to depend on how the church sees itself.

Again, I've no particular knowledge of Hillsong and how they operate. But, there was a movement towards "cell churches" while I was much more closely connected to the evangelical scene. In this model, the primary focus of the church is the cell group - the small group meeting locally, usually not on a Sunday, for teaching, prayer, fellowship. The Sunday get together of all the cells was secondary, and if time was limited you were expected to attend the meeting of your cell and there wasn't as much pressure to go to the big Sunday shin-dig.

Under such a model you're pretty much assured that all the members at a Sunday event were also regulars at their mid-week cell. You would, of course, have some visitors and a few others who were very occasional attendees. The benefit of the big meeting was a connection to something bigger, a worship experience that the small groups couldn't provide, maybe access a library or other shared resources ... almost all under the "experience" category. Somewhat akin to having an annual week at Spring Harvest, a spiritual adreneline shot (and, yes I know, SH has a lot of teaching running through the week so it's not a perfect analogy).

Ideally, the Sunday event would also be an opportunity for the curious to connect to a cell group in their area. Which clearly isn't going to work if people go to the area specifically set aside for such connections to happen and be ignored!

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, and Ichthus used to work rather like that too.

The issue about which is the primary unit needs to be made clear though from the start: is the church built up from the cell or down from the celebration? It's hard to change from the latter to the former (as any Vicar, trying to persuade their members to attend house-groups, knows).

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Pomona
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I have a little knowledge about Hillsong as some friends went there and some still attend, although I haven't been and am unlikely to go. Yes, it's run on a cell-group model - the cell leader is effectively your pastor during the week and has a similar level of authority. The lead pastors are effectively the regional managers and most church members won't see them very much, but will go to their cell leader.

I strongly suspect that the light theological content on Sundays is partly in order to not scare people away with Hillsong's very unhip and very conservative views on things like sexuality (along with Bethel's leader, Hillsong's leader whose name I've forgotten supported 45). Cell leaders will discipline members with regards to these issues, hence some of my friends no longer attending. I don't think Hillsong's immense wealth (and it is immense, and only to increase if reports about a Mr Bieber are true) and bums on seats is worth their cold and shallow theology. It's not even spiritual milk, but spiritual malk with added vitamin R.

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L'organist
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I think if you look at the cell structure of some of these outfits you'll find remarkable similarities with the organisation of political insurgencies (of all hues) over the past century. Not an original observation I'm afraid but one first posited by an acquaintance who at one stage was heavily involved at HTB and who likened it to the organisation of resistance cells in WWII.

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Pomona
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That strikes me as rather insulting to the WWII resistance groups, who were working for messy good rather than banal evil....

Evil is probably too strong for HTB (although I do dislike it immensely). Probably not for Hillsong, IMO. It's a hard right-wing agenda in a cool Instagrammable (but banal indeed) disguise. It makes me want to hug my messy grumpy uncool parish church very tightly indeed.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Gee D
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To describe Hillsong as "banal evil" is just not too strong, but totally wrong. OK, you don't like Hillsong (and nor do I) but it is not in any sense of the word evil. Banal, yes.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
To describe Hillsong as "banal evil" is just not too strong, but totally wrong. OK, you don't like Hillsong (and nor do I) but it is not in any sense of the word evil. Banal, yes.

Really? If Pomona's right that it promotes a hard-right homophobic agenda, one which leads people at best to abandon the faith, and at worst to despair and suicide, then is it too strong?

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Gee D
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I'm not sure that the conditional clause is totally correct, but I do think that evil is the wrong word.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Galloping Granny
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The questions then are:

- why? Is it, for instance, because they get married, move house and get out of the church habit; or because work commitments become too onerous; or because they have to spend Sundays caring for aged parents; or because dislike the theology and style and/or get burned out by the pressure of church life?

- how does this compare to people, especially of similar age, in traditional churches?

This link may lead you to the research referenced (I have the book on my shelf, though I haven't opened it for ages!)

Alan Jamieson did some serious research and has continued to study in the same field. When he was pastor at the city Baptist church here I went one evening after our service to a sort of coffee club he had for people who'd left churches but didn't want to abandon christianity.
He is now senior pastor at a Christchurch Baptist church.
"His PhD, and subsequent books and articles were based on his research on why people leave their church and their journeys of faith beyond regular church involvement."

GG

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
To describe Hillsong as "banal evil" is just not too strong, but totally wrong. OK, you don't like Hillsong (and nor do I) but it is not in any sense of the word evil. Banal, yes.

It's not about dislike but about harm. There are many churches I dislike, but Hillsong ruins lives.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Bishops Finger
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Strong language, indeed, but if Pomona has actually seen the damage, then fair enough.

I know of at least two people (one of whom died suddenly early this year) whose mental health was sadly impaired by a 'traditionalist' Anglo-Catholic sect (i.e. a breakaway, not part of the mainstream C of E). They found a measure of spiritual healing at Our Place, which is also A-C, but much less judgemental and/or domineering, and, nowadays, enjoys a leavening of open evangelical practice and teaching.....

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Jengie jon

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Alright, some resources for those exploring those no longer in a church.

Apart from Jamieson there is Richter and Francis' now dated research Gone But Not Forgotten. Its use of statistical tests is flawed.

Then there is the more current Invisible Church by Aisthorpe.

Both of these explore specifically the issue of those no longer in congregations. Then Abby Day looks at Believing in Belonging which looks at what people who never have gone to Church mean when they say they are Christian.

Jengie

[ 31. July 2017, 16:44: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Galloping Granny
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I was provoked, after finding myself parked outside a church called Equip, to check out all the non-traditional churches in Auckland (pop. 1.5 million).
I finished with a list of 17, some of which had multiple 'campuses' and names like Equippers,Pursuit Church (Huge in the US),City Impact Church (Widely located in NZ and overseas),C3,Edge, Encounter, Gateway, Hope International.
They tended to have large buildings full of teen-to-twenties, several young or youngish couples as pastors, a range of weekday/night groups, a statement of faith starting with 'We believe the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God for the Christian faith'and often instructions for giving/tithing.
One (I wish I could remember which) had a half-hour video of a sermon for which I couldn't fault the biblical content or the basic theology, though he could have condensed it a bit.
A far cry from the group I meet with fortnightly of mostly over-60s (in my case well over) all or most of whom are university graduates and theologically knowledgeable, some of whom are active in a regular church but with their own concept of god (if any), and who enjoy sharing their journeying.
We rather wish that the young folk could share the place where we find ourselves!

GG

(I hope this is relevant. It's what I thought I should add after reading the posts above.)

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
To describe Hillsong as "banal evil" is just not too strong, but totally wrong. OK, you don't like Hillsong (and nor do I) but it is not in any sense of the word evil. Banal, yes.

It's not about dislike but about harm. There are many churches I dislike, but Hillsong ruins lives.
Hillsong does ruin some lives, no doubt about that, but equally there would be no doubt it enhances lives of others. I'd still say that "evil" is too strong a word.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
I was provoked, after finding myself parked outside a church called Equip, to check out all the non-traditional churches in Auckland (pop. 1.5 million).
I finished with a list of 17, some of which had multiple 'campuses' and names like Equippers,Pursuit Church (Huge in the US),City Impact Church (Widely located in NZ and overseas),C3,Edge, Encounter, Gateway, Hope International.
They tended to have large buildings full of teen-to-twenties, several young or youngish couples as pastors, a range of weekday/night groups, a statement of faith starting with 'We believe the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God for the Christian faith'and often instructions for giving/tithing.
One (I wish I could remember which) had a half-hour video of a sermon for which I couldn't fault the biblical content or the basic theology, though he could have condensed it a bit.
A far cry from the group I meet with fortnightly of mostly over-60s (in my case well over) all or most of whom are university graduates and theologically knowledgeable, some of whom are active in a regular church but with their own concept of god (if any), and who enjoy sharing their journeying.
We rather wish that the young folk could share the place where we find ourselves!

GG

(I hope this is relevant. It's what I thought I should add after reading the posts above.)

Very, I'd have thought. It sounds like a NZ version of what was said of Latin America - I've been unable to find out by whom,
quote:
“Liberation theology opted for the poor, and the poor opted for pentecostalism.”
Just one other question. When you were 25-30, and pressed with all the other claims on your life then, and probably parenthood of young children, would you have wanted to spend your time, once fortnightly, with a meeting of your parents and their friends?

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
...
A far cry from the group I meet with fortnightly of mostly over-60s (in my case well over) all or most of whom are university graduates and theologically knowledgeable, some of whom are active in a regular church but with their own concept of god (if any), and who enjoy sharing their journeying.
We rather wish that the young folk could share the place where we find ourselves!

GG

(I hope this is relevant. It's what I thought I should add after reading the posts above.)

Sounds good, the sort of group I'd dip my toes in.
I'm also well over 60, a non-theist but interested, even now fascinated with religion.
Pentecostalism - been there, done that, got the T-shirt (to go with many other colours).
Thanks for sharing; it fed my prejudices. [Razz]
I rather thought you were saying that you wished the young folk could share your exploring / openness, rather than share your actual meeting space - and with that I totally agree.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
To describe Hillsong as "banal evil" is just not too strong, but totally wrong. OK, you don't like Hillsong (and nor do I) but it is not in any sense of the word evil. Banal, yes.

It's not about dislike but about harm. There are many churches I dislike, but Hillsong ruins lives.
Hillsong does ruin some lives, no doubt about that, but equally there would be no doubt it enhances lives of others. I'd still say that "evil" is too strong a word.
Would you be able to supply a better one? Banal hardly seems to cover it.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Gee D
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No one word really covers it and the whole sentence would need to be recast along the lines: " Hillsong preaches doctrines and approaches with which I strongly disagree and which are incompatible with my beliefs and liturgical preferences."

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
No one word really covers it and the whole sentence would need to be recast along the lines: " Hillsong preaches doctrines and approaches with which I strongly disagree and which are incompatible with my beliefs and liturgical preferences."

Not strong enough. Doesn't include "promotes a damaging and harmful agenda"

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Gee D
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You could add that, preceded by "which I consider has ..."

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
I was provoked, after finding myself parked outside a church called Equip, to check out all the non-traditional churches in Auckland (pop. 1.5 million).[...]

A far cry from the group I meet with fortnightly of mostly over-60s (in my case well over) all or most of whom are university graduates and theologically knowledgeable, some of whom are active in a regular church but with their own concept of god (if any), and who enjoy sharing their journeying.
We rather wish that the young folk could share the place where we find ourselves!

Perhaps those young people will be at the same place as you on the journey when they're over 60.

At this point they're looking for something lively that engages their bodies and emotions rather than an intellectual engagement.

[ 01. August 2017, 11:55: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

At this point they're looking for something lively that engages their bodies and emotions rather than an intellectual engagement.

[Killing me]

Not about GOD then?! [Snigger]

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SvitlanaV2
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Some would say that God can be discovered though the whole body and through an emotional response, not primarily through the intellect.

If this were not so, then people who lack education and theological training couldn't or shouldn't become Christians.

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Galloping Granny
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Enoch asked:
quote:
Just one other question. When you were 25-30, and pressed with all the other claims on your life then, and probably parenthood of young children, would you have wanted to spend your time, once fortnightly, with a meeting of your parents and their friends?

Trying to imagine: At 25-30 I was teaching, here and in the UK, and doing my OE* I didn't marry till 35, and had children at age 38 and 39. And at that stage: No.
I actually worried that I'd feel awkward at Play Centre (the parent run pre-school) but I got on fine with the younger parents.
But that was different.
I was probably in my fifties when a large bunch of us from our congregation formed a group called Frontiers of Faith and travelled outside the square for quite a few years.
Now our congregation is looking for a new minister and having difficulty as it seems that trainees are more likely to be evangelically inclined, while our lay supply is unashamedly Progressive and calls a myth a myth.

*Overseas Experience

GG

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SvitlanaV2
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I don't know what the structure is in your church, but if it's congregational maybe you could band together and help to pay for one of your own number to do the training? If the individual did it by distance study or attended a local college they could work, study and get practical experience at your church all at the same time.
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Gee D
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Well, GG's profile says that she's a Presbyterian and a solid feature of Presbyterianism is government by elders, with churches grouped together in presbyteries and then synods; then subsequent grouping of synods into assemblies. Indeed that method of government was carried over into the Uniting Church here.

[ 02. August 2017, 10:54: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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SvitlanaV2
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Ah yes, I should have looked.

The trouble is that very liberal theologies don't reproduce themselves very effectively nowadays. They don't usually send young people into ministerial training or keep young laypeople in the church. So as Galloping Granny has noticed, today's ministerial candidates are likely to be fairly orthodox.

A more congregational set-up would help churches which are distinctively liberal to find or train their own ministers.

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
The trouble is that very liberal theologies don't reproduce themselves very effectively nowadays. They don't usually send young people into ministerial training or keep young laypeople in the church. So as Galloping Granny has noticed, today's ministerial candidates are likely to be fairly orthodox.

Aside from questioning that the poles are "liberal" and "orthodox" rather than "liberal/progressive" – "conservative/evangelical," this is not my experience at all. My experience is that the majority of students at our seminaries fall into the moderate-to-liberal side of the theological (and political) spectrum. It's also my experience that it is much more common for a congregation to have a minister who is more liberal than the congregation as a whole than for a minister to be more conservative than his or her congregation.

[ 02. August 2017, 11:32: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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SvitlanaV2
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Yes, the terminology is debatable. But in Galloping Granny's church, mere orthodoxy appears to be open to question, not just evangelicalism.

She's also in New Zealand, which I think is similar to the UK in being highly secularised. In such a context, liberal or even just fairly moderate Christianity struggles to make its mark between evangelical (or just very orthodox) Christianity on the one hand and widespread indifference to or ignorance about Christianity on the other.

Comments that new candidates for ministerial training are more and more likely to be evangelical aren't new. I know a theologian who made the same comment a few years ago about the ecumenical college where he worked. One comes across similar claims occasionally in writing. It's unsurprising, because evangelical churches tend to have a higher proportion of young people, and hence produce more young candidates for the ministry.

But I admit that it's probably more of an issue in my (and GG's) country than in yours.

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Angloid
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My experience (admittedly anecdotal, and in a C of E context) of helping many people find spiritual direction, is that the majority come from a fairly conservative (even extreme) evangelical background but are increasingly dissatisfied with this and are looking for a more liturgical-sacramental-mystical type of Christianity. It's age-related to some extent but even people in their 20s and 30s are feeling this.
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SvitlanaV2
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I just wanted to add that the claim that ministers are often more liberal than their congregations is something I've come across myself. I think it's true. But in Britain it seems to refer mainly to an older generation of clergy - middle aged or above. Especially in mainstream congregations.

On the Ship, I get the impression that the clergy posters are often more liberal than their congregations. But the layfolk here often seem to chafe against church leaders who are more conservative than themselves. It's just a general impression, obviously with many exceptions.

At places like Hillsong, where evangelism and discipleship are priorities, I suspect the latter situation is more usual.

[ 02. August 2017, 12:20: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Mark Wuntoo
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# 5673

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On training for ministry: the newer charismatic churches mostly espouse in-house training, I think. This obviously has its dangers of perpetuating or watering down theology and practice. In my early days in fundamentalist churches we went away to BIBLE Colleges, not Theological colleges which were seen as too 'liberal'. In my experience people who were charismatic in personality / behaviour sometimes became pastors without any formal training and I believe this is a common practice in 'African' congregations in London and probably elsewhere.
Just a wild guess but I would suspect Hillsong to fit someone in these scenarios, possibly the first. I could be wrong, and hope I am FWIW.

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
My experience (admittedly anecdotal, and in a C of E context) of helping many people find spiritual direction, is that the majority come from a fairly conservative (even extreme) evangelical background but are increasingly dissatisfied with this and are looking for a more liturgical-sacramental-mystical type of Christianity. It's age-related to some extent but even people in their 20s and 30s are feeling this.

My experience too.

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Sipech
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# 16870

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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
My experience (admittedly anecdotal, and in a C of E context) of helping many people find spiritual direction, is that the majority come from a fairly conservative (even extreme) evangelical background but are increasingly dissatisfied with this and are looking for a more liturgical-sacramental-mystical type of Christianity. It's age-related to some extent but even people in their 20s and 30s are feeling this.

It also cuts the other way. In the charismatic churches, one often sees newcomers who have been brought up in the more ecclesiastically conservative environs of Anglicanism, but have been put off by the lifelessness of all things liturgical, often abandoning church and then coming back to faith later in life.

Perhaps both are instances of familiarity breeding contempt, with the petulance of youth leading them in search of their own kind of novelty. Then, later in life, people settle.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
On training for ministry: the newer charismatic churches mostly espouse in-house training, I think. This obviously has its dangers of perpetuating or watering down theology and practice. In my early days in fundamentalist churches we went away to BIBLE Colleges, not Theological colleges which were seen as too 'liberal'. In my experience people who were charismatic in personality / behaviour sometimes became pastors without any formal training and I believe this is a common practice in 'African' congregations in London and probably elsewhere.
Just a wild guess but I would suspect Hillsong to fit someone in these scenarios, possibly the first. I could be wrong, and hope I am FWIW.

The nature of cell-churches (if, as appears to be the case, Hillsong follows a version of that model) is that the church has a large number of "pastors" - the majority of members will only know the leader(s) of their cell, who will have the primary role in teaching and pastoral care. One would assume that they're expected to be "on message" with the teaching of the senior pastors of the church, but in practice they will all have their own views which will inform their actions. With the number of pastors needed, there would be a sufficient number of people to make an in-house training system practical. There's nothing inherently wrong with an in-house system (otherwise we should shut down all those denominational seminaries, which are a different form of in-house ministerial training). The question is the quality of that training.

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Jengie jon

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Before we carry on this speculation may I point out that a quick google turns up this institution. You are welcome to explore.

Jengie

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Gamaliel
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Lifelessness and liveliness are often in the eye of the beholder, Sipech.

I don't find things liturgical lifeless, nor do I find apparently lively things to be as lively as the participants imagine they are.

I'm not knocking one or t'other.

For my own part, I'm glad I've had experience of both and been exposed to both.

On balance, I'd concede that my appreciation of things liturgical has been enhanced in some way by doing all the lively stuff.

It's a funny thing, but the first few times I revisited more liturgical settings after years of 'liveliness' I thought, 'Hey, this is great ... Why didn't I notice all this the first time round?'

There might be some symbiotic connection and relationship. I needed the liveliness to shake things from my head to my heart. I needed the liturgy to move things back up to my head ...

But it's both/and - I feel a heart-connection with some forms of liturgy in as goose-bumpy a way as anything I ever did in my full-on charismatic days.

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Galloping Granny
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I heard a comment more than once some time ago, that the contemporary theology that we were interested in was basic stuff taught in all theological colleges but didn't reach the people in the pews because 'the minister has to feed his wife and children'.

Certainly while our Progressive lay supply boldly explains his theology, the people in our pews love him, but a whole bunch of them happily toddled off to six sessions of an Alpha prayer course. In a private chat with one of the younger (than me!) women I had the impression that her faith was quite orthodox.

As a lay preacher in my other church when I'm on holiday, which is depressingly conservative, I find it's not difficult to speak of say a gospel story and its situation and message without either abandoning my own convictions or contradicting theirs.
GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Before we carry on this speculation may I point out that a quick google turns up this institution. You are welcome to explore.

Jengie

Thank you. Quite interesting and informative. As might be expected, they are light on 'theology' and heavy on practice. 'In house' seems an appropriate description. I wonder who else accepts the qualifications as appropriate for ministry?
I may have missed it - nothing about 'cross cultural' training, which surprises me.

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Lothlorien
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As someone from Sydney with some years experience in such colleges, I would comment that to me, that site says more in what it does not say than in what is written there. I did not attend there but have been a student and on staff in other coilleges and have known Hillsong students.

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Galloping Granny
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Alan notes
quote:
The nature of cell-churches (if, as appears to be the case, Hillsong follows a version of that model) is that the church has a large number of "pastors" - the majority of members will only know the leader(s) of their cell, who will have the primary role in teaching and pastoral care.
Is it also usual, as it seemed to me in my searches, that the 'pastors' are almost invariably young couples?
GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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Galloping Granny

Some research suggests that American clergy who are more liberal than their congregations are more likely to experience low levels of job satisfaction.

This is worrying. There must be a limit to the effectiveness of a church where the congregation and clergy aren't on the same page.

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
Is it also usual, as it seemed to me in my searches, that the 'pastors' are almost invariably young couples?
GG

Yes. And, if you'll note their web photos, the woman is generally depicted as being shorter than the man and clinging to him.

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Galloping Granny
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# 13814

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Galloping Granny

Some research suggests that American clergy who are more liberal than their congregations are more likely to experience low levels of job satisfaction.

This is worrying. There must be a limit to the effectiveness of a church where the congregation and clergy aren't on the same page.

Please can we have one of them?

Preferably Presbyterian But we swap round a lot; our neighbouring presbyterian/Methodist church has a minister poached from the baptists and before that a Sally Army man (when two elders were licensed to preside at Communion) both wonderful ministers.

GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
Is it also usual, as it seemed to me in my searches, that the 'pastors' are almost invariably young couples?
GG

Yes. And, if you'll note their web photos, the woman is generally depicted as being shorter than the man and clinging to him.
Women in a ministry rôle! Would not happen in a Sydney Anglican church where the ministers all have lovely wives, that being their function in life.

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