Typing this I can hear the sound of one of our members attacking our church notice board. We’re in the process of obtaining brand new ones, but until that is sorted I have screwed on a makeshift one so that people can keep in touch with some of the things we’re planning. Judging by the sounds, maybe I killed the screws in doing so…
Communication is important to an organisation like ours. Like it or not, how the church building looks and what is displayed on it, gives an impression of who we are and what we’re like. A clean tidy church sends out a certain set of signals. A church with out of date posters and weeds around the fencing says something completely different.
Of course there are many ways of communicating who we are and what we’re about. That’s why we have a web page, put items in the school newsletter, send out texts, post updates on Facebook, print out invitations for events we’re putting on and so on.
Last Sunday evening we started our new series looking through the Letter to the Hebrews. It starts off with the line, ‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…’ We stopped and though of the plethora of ways in which God communicated with the people of the Old Testament: through the splendour of creation, speaking animals, dramatic dreams, prophets’ dramas, rainbows and tablets of stone to name but a few. He is clearly a creative God who loves to interact with people. All of these methods were good, but the most significant is that of his Son. Through sending his Son, God gave us a first hand experience of his personality and character. Nothing beats actually meeting someone to find out who they are.
And so it is with the church today. I want us to be creative in our means of communication with our local community, just as God is creative in communicating to us. But as important as this is, these things are secondary. The most significant way people can learn about us is through meeting us, interacting with us, and getting to know us. Who we are is who the church is. This of course raises another set of questions. Are we proactive in getting to know people outside the church? Do our lives reflect what we say we believe? Are we the same person on Monday that we are on Sunday? We are the church – not some institution on the corner of the High Road and Slipe Lane. How we are with others is how people see the church, and to a degree, God himself.