I am always tempted to say I have been preaching to the heathens when I have taken a service in Cradley Heath. I was at Four Ways Baptist Church this morning and unfortunately they had no organist so I said I would play for them. It was interesting because I got the organ going and half way through the first verse of Praise my soul, the king of heaven, the organ stopped - I pressed the button again and managed half of the second verse and so it went on. I managed to work it out before the second hymn so it kept going for the rest of the service. The church is over 100 years old and they have just discovered some dry rot which will cost many thousands of pounds to get rid of.
Tonight I was at Walsall Central Hall with the worship group from Pleck and played a very nice grand piano.
I have just read a piece on Methodist Preachers blog that appears to be a humorous piece but it has a serious side to it as I believe there are Methodist churches and folk who may well think as the steward in the story. I have been to some churches that appear to be in a time warp somewhere way back in the 20th century - perhaps that is one of the factors in Methodism shrinking - what we do is old fashioned and therefore does not appeal to younger people.
When I joined the Borth Beach Mission Team 6 or 7 years ago team members were called Auntie or Uncle and this was something that we changed in my first year as team leader because it seemed very 1960's to me. It didn't harm the work we did in any way and I believe made the work more attractive to the youngsters.
I believe that some of the most dangerous words we can say are 'We've always done it this way' as if that makes it right - surely we need to look at what we are doing on a regular basis.
At our circuit meeting the other night we were discussing annual reports and while this gives us a chance to look at the year that has gone perhaps we should have a 'Corporate Plan' for the next few years to enable us to focus our work on a vision for the future and where we see our particular fellowship being in three or four years time.