Our approach to evangelism and the way we have almost re-coined it in terms of commercial success has led to a somewhat neurotic obsession with numbers, and with where current numbers sit in relation to those of the past – ie ‘stats’.
Embedded somewhere in the stats are two interrelated groups of people, the mid-life group, ranging from early forties to mid-sixties, and those of all ages who linger on the edge of the Church’s life, either just inside or just outside its peripheries.
When it comes to deciding the future of nations, thinking ought to be a heart and mind business, rather than a matter of gut feeling.
Gut feeling has nothing to do with the mind and little with what is true and honest in the human heart. Gut feeling is emotional short term reactivism. When it is pandered to as a means to acquiring power it yields toxic results. Gut feeling licenses duplicity and it is gut feeling which is driving the American election. It is also shaping the news, because in regard to this election, there is nothing else to shape it.
I went with some friends to see I, Daniel Blake last night. It’s many years since I last saw a film, and I was wondering whether I would be bored.
Bored I was, as we sat through all the prior adverts. My eyes closed. I was just nodding off when I was startled by some very familiar words.
The voice of wisdom in politics does not shout in order to make itself heard in the market place.
It is a whisper sensed, not just once, but continually and with growing insistence. It speaks into the nagging suspicion that nations have got things drastically wrong and are heading for collective disaster. But wisdom is also the voice of hope. It is the voice of conscience and of common sense and no doubt many of us at Modern Church hope that the day will come when it will be recognised for what it is before it is too late.
Yesterday, I was told a piece of good news, about a sudden and unexpected family reconciliation. It stayed with me all day. Later, I watched the early evening news and then an excellent film, The Lady in the Van – Maggi Smith at her best.
The film was about goodness, as was my friend’s story. Both were good news in the fullest sense. They held, or contained, the events of the day. They held them together.