‘It is NOT a Church’

So go the opening lines of this conversation between ‘Current Affair’ and Geoff and Barbara, two irate neighbours who have been living next to the Scarborough Baptist Church.

Current Affair: But you bought a house next to a church?…

Geoff & Barbara: Its not a church… its NOT a church…

Clearly in Geoff and Barbara’s mind is an ecclesiology that Scarborough have been able to move away from as they seek to engage with and serve their community. While Geoff and Barbara see church as something that happens very quietly on a Sunday morning, Scarborough have managed to really position themselves effectively in their community and do some wonderful work.

For those who are committed to missional expressions of church this raises some interesting questions because these neighbours have made it really hard for the church to fulfill its mission. It can gather on a Sunday morning so long there is no fuss, but these community activities don’t really have anything to do with a church… do they?…

I’m guessing Geoff and Barbara haven’t done much theological study, and while their answer might have been typical 40 years ago these days it is an oddity.

A church that was on life-support not so long ago has had new energy breathed into it and is now a beautiful picture of what a very ordinary bunch of people can do it they just stick at it and seek to be salt and light in their own context.

I do have a personal interest in this one as Scarborough was the church I grew up in as a teenager, the first church I worked in as a pastor and the church that my folks are still a part of (see if you can pick them in the video).

My favourite part of the story is the opening where elderly Ivy (pictured above) gets asked if she’s a bit of a wild thing… Then there are the stories of people’s lives influenced and changed by their involvement with the church. And they are fantastic stories!

Its a dangerous business allowing the media anywhere near your church community, but for Scarborough they have certainly come up smelling of roses. Their neighbours however…

1 thought on “‘It is NOT a Church’

  1. A church is wherever 2 or 3 christians are gathered in the name of Jesus.Geoff and Barbara could be their own church with the reporter,even,if they loved the Lord.
    Sell up and move on out or perhaps join in and do something to help someone less fortunate,you pair of whingers.

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