I am feeling really challenged, and need to share right now, with a plea to you who are reading, to give me your thoughts on this huge issue. I'm sure the issue has a 'name' but seeing as I am blissfully unaware and not all that clever or switched on, I will just give it a name of my own: "de-churching".
And the issue is simply this: how do we get rid of our 'churchy jargon', and start talking about our beliefs in ways which 'Joe Bloggs' will U.N.D.E.R.S.T.A.N.D and be able to relate to?!?!?!
As a church intern (very part-time at the moment I hasten to add...), I meet with other interns and our "Intern Programme Leader" - Lynn - on a Monday, to pray, study the Bible and discuss various aspects of church life and of ministries that we're each involved in. We are currently studying the book of Romans, and are grappling, and struggling with terms such as 'righteousness', 'justification', 'atonement', 'circumcision', 'salvation', 'law', 'sin' and so on! Now my problem is that I kind of understand what these words mean, with a huge emphasis on 'kind of'!! But I find myself increasingly passionate about scrapping any big, complicated religious words which would put off most people from ever going anywhere near the church or the Bible.
With that in mind, how do I start to understand these words well enough to be able to explain their meaning in simple, short words, which will make sense to anyone, and especially the mums I hang out with at the school gate, my non-christian friends, the people on the streets that we go out to feed and serve, as a housegroup, every other thursday...etc etc.
(To be continued...)