The Monastery Revisited

I’ve been to a few churches around town and they just annoy the **** out of me because they’re so fake, and the people look so lost, and the people on the stage just look so plastic and so charming and so seductive, and I just think ‘I don’t believe in these people’. These people are not an expression of faith. So, I’d much rather just slip into a church and sit there for 10 minutes and have a bit of quiet time, or pray at home. I don’t feel that you necessarily have to turn up at a certain place at a certain time dressed in a certain way to express your faith and live out your faith. I think there’s other ways of doing it.

I am once again inspired by this BBC 2 Series ‘The Monstery”, and this is the experience of church of a genuinely seeking spiritual guy. His experience is far from unique, and this is important.

7 thoughts on “The Monastery Revisited

  1. “do not try to call them back to where they were, and do not try to call them to where you are, beautiful as that place might seem to you. You must have the courage to go with them to a place that neither you nor they have been before.”

    Vincent Donovan, quoted in Mission Shaped Church.

  2. I have seen a similar thing done with youth back home. They opened the church building up and for a couple of hours people met up, had drinks and snacks, played video games, pool and table tennis. Later on there was a talk for people who wanted to stay, and then some worship and prayer.The format meant that people could stay longer the more into church they were – from fellowship through a talk, to worship and then prayer.

  3. I remember back back in the day, the PCC had an away day to discuss our strengths as Church on the Corner, a kind of what did we have to offer thing. And one of our big points was the fact that obviously because we’re in a pub building, we’re obviously more approacable and less ‘church’ like.
    But we still, really, do church like everyone else. As in it’s still a service.
    I was talking to some other crispies i know the other day who split their sunday evening into 2 bits. From 5-7pm they opened up their church building [which is just a massive house] and just had time together. Absolutley no format and yet Christians would come together and regularly bring friends just to hang out have tea and chat. They would then have a more formal evening service which regularly people stayed on for but lots of people didn’t. 5-7pm was church for them. I’m finding more and more that my church are the Christian friends i meet up with. Peopel who encourage, look after me, help me make decisions and provide a sounding board for what i think God’s trying to do with me at the minute. God looks after our conversations, he is as a powerful when we’re not doing ‘formal church as he is when we are and i think we forget that sometimes.

    Sorry my thoughts here don’t have a huge amount of direction, but it is the stuff i’m thinking about at the mo.

  4. It is a problem, that christianity only comes with one brand, and that’s church. There may be 57 varieties of church, but it’s still church.
    What are we offering for the thousands of people who believe, or who would like to believe, but who just don’t get church?
    Just thinking through the Christians I know, and I would guess that about one fifth aren’t going to church, or haven’t found one they are comfortable in. For some of you it might be higher, or lower. If that’s the christians, the alien culture of church must be ten times stranger for others.

  5. I like it! Or maybe a renowned gastro-pub for monsters…

    But seriously folks. I really identify with what this guy is saying here. So much so it hurts…

    So, thanks for the heads up Mark, looks like it might make for some great viewing for a change. Not that I didn’t really enjoy Rio Ferdinand’s World Cup wind ups the other night…

  6. The Monstery? Is that where they make monsters? Or where monsters go for a drink after a hard days work?

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