Sunday, 7 October 2012

What language do you speak?

Sorry if this is a little ranty, just something I'm working out

This week I read the first World Methodist Youth and Young Adult Devotional. It was written by Christy-Anna Errington, current Youth and Young adult committee chair, and ex Methodist Church in Great Britain Youth President. Christy-Anna talks about her experiences of using translators at a conference.

This sparks a call to think about the language we use in our churches. Its something I'm very concious of, trying to be as inclusive as possible, using language that is truly open to everyone. But our Christian living should go further than just our language.

Often, the language we use isn't just words. It is our actions too. Its the way we do things, the way we present ourselves. Apparently most of our face to face communication is non verbal. So how does the church communicate with the people?

Sometimes I think we don't quite hit the mark. We wonder why our numbers are falling, and then I look at events, groups and sessions that are put on by my church and it is no wonder. They are only at a time for people who don't have 'standard' work hours. We have meetings at a time that, before I had to travel 2 hours to get home from work, were difficult for me to get to after work.

I wonder if the church remembers that there are people with lives outside the church. It is little things, like being surprised that when someone phones me at 10am during the week I can't answer my phone because I'm at work. I make no secret that I'm sold out to the church. But it makes me wonder what people who aren't think about the church.

So here is my challenge, think about how we communicate with people as a church. Think particularly about those people who are trying to fit church into their life. Remember, there is a life outside the church. And think about how we reach those people who have a life outside the church.

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