I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to have a conversation with someone in the middle of a kids festival before. Strangely enough I’ve found myself in this situation quite a few times – twice even in the last week. The first time wasn’t planned though. It was meant to be a relaxing conversation with a friend at the peaceful Powerhouse cafe overlooking the Brisbane River. Turned out the Powerhouse was in the middle of their big school holiday festival. Look out for it next time if you’ve got primary-aged kids. Give it a miss if you want a quiet conversation. And maybe check the weather too, like we didn’t.
Still, in between dodging little kids with gluey hands and trying to stop the rain from diluting our cappuccinos, we managed to have a conversation worthy of the cheerleader tag. The gentleman I met with has been involved in starting a simple church group over the last year or so. When I say “simple church” I mean it doesn’t have organised services or paid staff. It’s a small group of people who are keen to follow Jesus and are flexible in how that might look for them. Actually, sometimes I wonder if “simple” might be a bit misleading. My church lately has been having quite a few of our Jesus conversations in amongst rain and gluey kids.
The group that my Powerhouse friend belongs to call themselves “The Assembly of Grapes,” which in itself is telling.
There are a few of these around and they all look different depending on the people in the group. One of the key aims of Postcard Radio is to find these simple church groups and support them however we can. It can feel lonely in these small groups sometimes, especially for leaders. It’s a different way of operating than the normal church way and sometimes you can feel like a bit of a lone ranger. There are a lot of people on this journey though, and some really good ideas are being tried and experimented with. We’d like to help pass around some of these ideas and stories if we can.
If you are in a simple church group in QLD, please let us know! We’d love to know what groups are around – so we can support and encourage the groups and facilitators, and also to help individuals connect in with some of these like-minded people.
Also, make sure you head over to www.ourpathway.com, our site dedicated to resourcing and encouraging simple church leaders.
On a different note to finish, here’s something that stuck in my head from the conversation with my rain-soaked friend last week: “I think that much of the time the church is answering questions that the community isn’t asking. We need to spend more time listening to people.”