Monday, 8 October 2007

Location! Location! Location!

Been reading on another blog about the lack of Methodist services in the centre of Birmingham and at first I could not believe what I was reading but then I thought again and it struck me - what is the point of having a church where nobody lives - what is the point of having a church in a city centre where no one lives. I think it is important that there is some Christian witness even thought there is no Methodist Church and fortunately there are three Christian bookshops which provide a type of witness in themselves and of course there is the cathedral and St Martin's in the Bull Ring so it is not all bad news.
Isn't the location of our churches or meeting places important - how many of our churches are now in areas where there is very little housing or areas where given the changing population and their aging membership the work is increasingly hard and sometimes beyond the physical capabilities of our members.
Is this a reason why some other churches are seeing growth in their membership - they are in good locations and very visible on the street so to speak. One of the biggest churches in Walsall is right by the motorway at junction 10 and they are very visible with a notice board that always has something relevant and challenging and often they use the latest 'in slogan' and turn it to their advantage - one of their early ones featured the 'Tell Sid' slogan of British Gas.
It may be too that this particular church is seeing growth because the worship is vibrant and alive. We were planning a service at our church the other day and were thinking about asking the members what they thought makes good worship - should get some interesting responses I think - not entirely sure it will be very clear at the end as the question may lead to some very subjective answers. I may post on this topic next week as the service is this Sunday - we are doing it cafe style and asking the questions in the middle and getting folk to jot their answers on post it notes and stick them on the flip chart at the front. Could prove to be quite interesting and who knows there may be a few surprises.

1 comment:

Methodist Preacher said...

But there are people living in Birmingham city centre. There has been a massive expansion in the supply of "apartments" - even the old Central Hall is going to converted.

And there are hundreds of people who go into the city centre for leisure and shopping each Sunday.

City centres are changing again and now is the time for us to think about meeting the new challenges of that change.