Met up with Dan Rous this evening for a cup o' cha. He was in town for a conference for furniture recyclers (amazing how many Christian organisations are involved in used furniture... encouraging!) and had a spare hour for a blether.
It was great to catch up with someone who I consider to be "on page". Hearing stories from his Corps in Glenrothes. Keeping me up-to-date with whats happening with the "G-Gang" aka some of the kids I met at Summer School.
Then, as if God hadn't done enough with us in the music area, one of the G-Gang had asked if she could speak at the God Spot. This is the only point in the Youth Club where we insist on what the young people do - they have to sit and listen for 5-10 mins as we usually shoehorn a message into a video clip, news item or something similar. This girl simply spoke without notes about how difficult it was to stand out from the crowd especially at school and how so often people just go along with the crowd - usually ending up in all sorts of problems and trouble. She went on to say how being a Christian was really helping her in her life and then - shock of shocks - she went and prayed with the group! Its rare that we do pray with them and we are probably at fault for that, but she spoke, read from a Daily Reading book, then prayed. I was so chuffed yet felt myself sinking in my chair because here was this young girl doing what we should be doing. A few of us chatted about it afterwards and were all equally blown away by her confidence and the strength of her message.Rous Ramblings
We then spoke of new expressions of church within the Salvation Army... and the tension (actual or perceived) between the traditionalists and more forward-thinking folk. Dan and his good lady, Carol-Ann, host (with my pals Chris and Dawn) Catch the Fire - a monthly alternative worship event in Glenrothes. It amazes me how people can get so blinkered... like the Zen parable that asks what is the sound of one hand clapping?... what is the sound of church that isn't held on a Sunday? Some people are so blind to what is happening... because it refuses to follow the "rules"... the tradition. We are the church - where 2 or 3 are gathered... that's church because Jesus is there. This isn't solely a Sunday thing. They don't acknowledge the work done through the week... because they are not there to see it.
Furthermore... as a movement we are great at looking beyond a person's appearance when we are seeking to help them... but terrible for judging our "own", especially when we deviate from what is deemed to be tradition or... the norm!
We then spoke of the people "out there" and I tried to say that our terminology is wrong... we refer to them as them... when we should consider them us. The whosoever is us... we just haven't acknowledge this yet. What I mean by this is that when we personalise the people... when we identify with them and get to know them... they stop being them and start being us. Its a small but meaningful change in our perception.
Its like the barracks vs citadels thinking that Col. Napier spoke on a while back. We need to change our thinking if we want to succeed.
Anyway... thanks to Dan for chai latte and the conversation. Fab.