Monday, 24 June 2013

Engagement and/or entertainment

At the risk of coming over all ‘grumpy old man,’ a couple of thoughts have occurred to me in light of the frenzy of excitement which has arisen in the last 24 hours, in light of the internet sensation that is Kate Bottley’s Flashmob performance at a wedding she recently officiated. (If you have been in a cave/on the moon/in your own world, over the weekend, you can catch up on the story here.)
  1. Kate Bottley is great – obviously a warm and winsome personality, and I wish I had her charisma and could dance like she can, but she has clearly has more rhythm in her big toe than exists in all of my gangling six foot two inches frame. If I tried to imitate her approach, the results would be embarrassing for me and all concerned, and besides, ministry is not about imitation, but finding the best expression of the values of the kingdom in whatever context we find ourselves in. More than anything else, people are looking for a church which is authentic.
  2. The church does need to find patterns of worship which engage all of our senses, and which are participatory, but we don’t all want to dance and we’re not all extroverts. What some people regard as wonderful fun is living hell for others. I’ve met a number of people in church in recent months who’ve wanted to come and hide for a while, find a quiet space to recover from life's wounds, and receive God’s grace and healing.
  3. The sooner we have women bishops the better, but leading a dance at a wedding does not automatically qualify someone for the role.
  4. Being relevant and fun really impresses some people, but makes us open to parody in the eyes of others. If you’re not sure what I mean, watch this.

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