The songs don’t matter, love does. 

In the church we’ve believed a bit of a myth for the last 50 odd years. That the way we sing on a Sunday matters. So pews have been removed, guitars have been inserted, projectors included, songs shortened, shortened in their lifespans. The myth is that how the church sings affects our effectiveness in mission as a church.

It doesn’t.

The only people who this matters to is the other local christians who are looking for a church which is to their style.

What matters is not how a church sings. It’s how a church community loves. loves unconditionally it’s community and creates spaces where it can show it.

I would imagine, and I know a church where this is the case, when a church loves a community and acts out God’s love in it, people who receive this love want to find out what the source of that love is.

And so, if people are attracted to genuine love and community then it’s values and the performance of those values that are important, and an authenticity on a Sunday to those values. And that could as easily be an Anglican service, or something more contemporary. How it sings, is less important that how it loves.

It’s love Monday to Saturday and connecting in God’s love on Sunday that might make missional sense. Be a theatre of God’s gospel love. How songs are sung and what is sung is almost, almost irrelevant.  How a church loves and builds and creates community in its local community is.

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Author: James

Currently I work part time for both Frontier Youth Trust (www.fyt.org.uk) and Communities Together Durham (www.communitiestogetherdurham.org) and am also self employed and do various aspects of youthwork consultancy, including training, writing, lecturing, seminars and written pieces, including organisational consultancy, community profiling and detached/youthwork training. Please do get in touch if I can be of help to you in your church, project or organisation to develop your youth and community work. I have contributed to 'Here be Dragons (2013), and two recent articles in the youth and theology journal and 'ANVIL' the CMS online journal. My recent employment includes, working for FYT as a youthwork development adviser, being the centre director at Durham YFC, and before this I was known as 'Mr Sidewalk' as I was the project coordinator for the Sidewalk Project in Perth, where I facilitated the delivery of 5 years of detached youthwork on the streets, schools and communities to engage with young people , and support through alcohol misuse issues. In 2017 I completed an MA in Theology & Ministry at St John's College, Durham, and in 2008 graduated from ICC (now NTC Glasgow) with an honours degree in youth work with Applied theology.

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