The Sunday morning programme on BBC Radio Leeds is how I wake up before church. Then it’s either get up immediately if I am a playing some instrument or other in the service or have a coffee and a lie in for an hour listening to the radio if not. For nearly two years they broadcast the Service of the airwaves, a 30 Christian service during the Covid lockdown, but someone at the BBC seems to have decided that Covid is over, despite a high infection rate. There are people who attended Holy Trinity Huddersfield that I know of who do not feel it is yet safe to return to corporate worship.
But Christianity did not start out this way, they met in people’s houses. Larger meetings are a result of growth, as we have seen recently where some fellowships from the house church movement of the 1970s have grown into mega-churches.
Christianity is better when it focuses on the home. Successful churches usually have small houe groups, we call ours life groups, but what’s in a name?
Since 2004 I have been in an experimental internet Church, Church of Fools, soon renamed St Pixels. The people who started it, before I joined had a vision of using a 3D platform to reach our tho gamers. The 3D platform never came into being down to cost (the original one was a fixed time experiment and has security issues) and we never reached the gamers. What we did find was people who had been hurt by the political structures of traditional churches and were happy to talk to our disparate group of internet weirdos. We found that a lot of the trauma was down to people putting theology first before people. Some of these were even nurtured back to faith, and one returned to preaching in his former church.
We showed that you can do church without an elaborate hierarchy and with a reasonably transparent leadership system. I would say that having transparent leadership was a good thing with leaders having to explain themselves after being challenged in public forums. That is a strength, the weakness is when leaders can cover things up. (Rant over.)
The strength of the church comes from the Holy Spirit moving through each person. The churches where this can happen are either small or have small groups within it. While I am not denying the power that can be felt in large group worhip situations, so many people worshipping God together has its own dynamic.
I shall take the word of the Jewish guy on Radio Leeds that their religion is based on the home, we have a lot to learn from them.