Breakfast in church…

For a few months now I’ve been a minister without a ‘church’ in the conventional sense down here in the TQ – no lovely stone building, no staff meetings, no cycle of services and meetings and events to run.  But I’m increasingly realising how little I miss those things. As the months go by, ‘church’ – whatever that means – is becoming more real and more exciting even as it becomes more undefined.

Take this morning.  I’m sitting in The Streat; the background ‘music’ is the hiss of coffee machines and an old Kylie song on the stereo, rather than the holy hush of a sacred space.  I’ve just finished a Big Breakfast (yum) and checked in to the WordLive reading for the day on my laptop (  It’s powerful.  Talking about the passage where Jesus clears the money-lenders, stall-holders and hagglers from the temple courts in Jerusalem, the writer says:

The whole sacrificial system that God had initiated to enable people to renew their relationship with him had become a blockage. God’s access route had been turned into a barrier.

Is our worship accessible to all?
Jesus, in ending the blockage, was symbolising what his death and resurrection would achieve permanently. This requires us to examine every aspect of our worship.

Have rituals and procedures that were intended to help people find God now become a barrier?

● The parish system was meant to ensure that everyone had ministerial support – but can it mean that no one else can minister or set up a church?

● Preaching should open God’s Word to everyone – but can it mean that people cannot find God for themselves through Scripture?

The clothes we wear, the times of worship, the language, the seats we sit on and everything we do is subject to the same scrutiny of Jesus.

What a brilliant response to the passage – I just can’t recommend these WordLive readings enough.  Sure, not every day hits home, but far more often than not there’s a nugget or an application or a different way of looking at the Bible that brings it alive.  In today’s reading, for instance, there’s time to respond with a thoughtful video meditation and a worship song.  Just bung the headphones on (even in the middle of The Streat) and let God speak.

So I guess the point I’m making is – isn’t this church?  Whether I’m on my own with just the laptop for company (and probably looking very unfriendly and antisocial with the headphones on – sorry everybody!), or meeting up here with friends, new contacts, people who are excited about the work of God and the work of the Titanic Quarter (and sometimes both at the same time!), I love this!

It’s church – but not as I know it.  But it feels like there’s something to it – ‘guerilla church’ – finding God in cafes and fry-ups and offices…

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Breakfast in church…”

  1. Great progres Chris
    Any spiritual messages about hedges …or hedge funds,

  2. I love it “guerilla church”! And why on earth not? I’ve visited lots of different churches nation wide by just walking through the park in Wolverhampton with different podcasts loaded on my phone, you’ve had a great big fry up in church (and it’s not even easter morning yet!) and when has having a coffee ever not been a spiritual event?! 😉

    I can’t wait to get back and see what’s been going on, but then again, with the Dock’s ‘laptop church’ style, I’m already there!

  3. hi chrisby! got here via fb and very interested in your post. you do realise your going to be inundated with invitations to clerical gatherings and rural deaneries to share your thoughts and experiences of church! give it a few years and the you’ll be at the mothers union too!
    I know i’m old and struggle to keep up with the possibilities for communication that modern technology offers, nor would i ever doubt the spiritual atmosphere in the Streat but in reading your post i wonder how much church is ‘Christianity, but with other people there’ -(as i keep banging on to my own folk)? Cheers and keep posting!

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