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East meets West

7 May, 2004 6:22 PM

In the last 24 hours I've had opportunity to speak to two very different groups about what we're doing with LivingRoom.

Last night I went travelled due West to a sister missional community that is working with young people in those suburbs. They are doing some amazing work in schools and in other relationships with young people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. They're working in a culture where drug culture is pretty powerful. We had a night of story telling and I was totally blown away by the commitment and faith of this small group - not to mention their warm welcome and interest in what we're doing. Whilst our suburbs are vastly different from one another there are some real common threads that run through the values of both groups. For example we both have a real heart for our wider communities and we both see food as central in what we do.

Today I travelled due East - to the bible belt of Melbourne - to share with a group of mainly older Christians from churches around Melbourne who were gathering to hear about some of the issues that are facing our denomination at the moment. I again shared about what we're doing and the need for more communities to experiment with new models of church and mission.

This group of people could not have been much more different than last night's group. Today the vast majority of people would have been in their 60s and 70s, virtually all were from anglo backgrounds and from those I talked to I gather that most came from fairly conservative mainline type churches. Yet the common thing with last night was the incredible acceptance and even excitement that there were people trying new things. I saw in the eyes of the people that gathered today a real resonance with the things I was talking about - the need for new models, new ways and creativity as we approach the future of church in our city.

Whilst today I sensed a number of people struggled with some of what we do (we don't meet on a Sunday, we don't sing songs, we don't have the word 'Baptist' in our name), there was also a real acceptance that the times we live mean that we need to be open to change, to new ways. I was really encouraged by the warm response and find myself tonight celebrating the diversity yet unity of these two amazing groups of people.



I think your site is great and wish you all the best with your livingroom venture. I'm one of the younger oldies who heard your presentation today. I have experienced "church" in different places and formats, but I know that there is an enormous need for new outreaches such as yours. God bless.

Ruth » 8 May, 2004 8:56 AM

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