We’ve just got home from our summer holiday. No France visit, just towing our middle-aged caravan around bits of Britain we haven’t tried out before. There were two worship experiences that illustrated some of the big problems the Methodist Church has in making headway in Britain today.
Worship 1 – traditional Methodist chapel. The congregation was about 70 (that’s quite good for Methodists!) almost all over 70 years of age. Joy and I were almost the youngest people there … and I am 50 later this year. The worship was lead in a really unenthusiastic way and the whole experience was dire. It struck me as a church sinking gracefully towards death – and happily too. We were invited for coffee but not shown where to go; looked at as odd because we wanted tea and didn’t want to take away a tray of coffee cups and hardly anyone spoke.
Worship 2 – in the Dominion Theatre. Tottenham Court Road, London. This was one of three Sunday meeting at Hillsong (London) and we were almost the oldest of the 3,000 people present. It was loud, rocking, passionate and featured good prayers and a really good sermon delivered with insight, humour and depth. When you arrived there were greeters on the door, coffee and water being carried around and offered to you; one of the volunteer helpers chatted for about 15 minutes; a number of people smiled and said “welcome” as we walked upo the stairs and people even said thank you for coming.
If I wasn’t committed to the Methodist church which one would I go back to? Obvious, isn’t it!