Sundays are a bit different to what they used to be for me. I have been a regular church attender since I was 14 or so – I am now approaching 60. That’s over 2000 Sundays spent in church in case you were wondering.
For much of that time I was at church as leader – working as a Vicar in the Church of England. Don’t get me wrong – I have been a member of some great churches. Lovely people, great fellowship and a sense of growing with God as disciples.
Then I took a different job, which meant I was often free on a Sunday and could go to church as a regular member instead of wearing a dog-collar. It has been an interesting experience. I have been shopping around for a church that may suit. i know we shouldn’t treat church like a supermarket – but finding a church that fits is important surely? Or maybe I should be looking for a church that doesn’t fit – but that is another thread worth following up later.
My general church-going experience of late is that it feels less of a place that I really want to be. I am generally one of the few blokes there, and as someone who is (just) under 60 I am still quite young compared to most of the congregation. Not that I have a gender or age thing – it would be good if church had a few more blokes, and had a better age spectrum. It seems that there is a lot of stuff in church about flowers, jam and cake. I don’t get to hear much about discipleship, or kingdom. Perhaps you need to find a way in to get to that stuff?
Anyway – what it means is that if it’s a sunny day I now go out on my bike. I have always enjoyed cycling and it’s good to be able to get back into it. So Sunday mornings generally there I am – on 2 wheels. What I hadn’t realised is that on Sunday mornings – lots of others are out doing much the same. Out on their bikes – on their own or in small groups. I plan my route around where to stop for refuelling. This will always involve coffee and either a bacon buttie or something with chocolate in it! The coffee is always great, making me realise that church is now one of the last places that serve terrible coffee! If church laid on decent coffee and something good to munch – I may even venture in en route whilst cycling!
So the coffee is better out on a bike – and the people I meet are always (and I mean always) friendly. Churches can sometime fail on the friendliness front! So my ‘church’ at the moment is based on a different community, where the coffee is good, the people are welcoming and the views are amazing. Makes you feel good too – cycling is proven to be good for your physical and mental well being. Good for your spiritual well being? Well it works for me.