Creative Church – Jesus vs. Church

Pete Greig, one of the founders of 24-7 Prayer shared the following reflection as a series of posts on Twitter on 21 May this year. Bishop James used it at the recent Bishop’s roadshow (I found it by searching for Pete Greig and ‘clutter of Christianity’). It certainly encourages us to reflect on faith and life creatively:

“Can I be honest with you? I’m actually not into prayer. I’m into Jesus, so we talk.

I don’t believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of God. So I ask for his help. A lot.

I’m not into evangelism. I hate evangelism!  I’m into Jesus. So I talk to people about him.

I’m not into social justice. I’m into Jesus. So I find myself picking fights with his enemies.

I’m not into worship – all those soft rock songs, over and over again – I’m into Jesus. So when I see him I smile. I bow. And yes, OK  I admit that I sing quite a bit too.

I’m not into church (you seen the state of it?) I’m into Jesus, so I like his people. (They’re a little weird, but so am I!)

THE VISION IS JESUS. Not Christianity. Not rules and religion. Not prayer, mission and justice. Not church planting, miracles or mission. Just Jesus.

If you love Jesus I guess you’ll do all that stuff: you’ll pray and worship, go to church, preach the gospel, but in doing the stuff, we can so easily forget why. In all the clutter of Christianity we can bury Christ.


Some of us need to stop being Christians for a bit – we’re just too good at it. It’s become habitual.

Urgent voices call us to abandon the familiar comforts of Christianity to strike out into the unknown and rediscover Christ.

We are over familiar with holy things. We talk to God. He talks back. We claim to have an actual living, conversational, interactive relationship with the Creator of the cosmos. No middle ground. You’re insane or a saint.

Jesus was so uninterested in starting a religion he never thought of a name for his way of life, never wrote a book, barely stuck around long enough to secure succession. The way of Jesus is viral not structural, relational not religious, revolutionary not predictable.”


“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of faith” Heb 12:2

“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” Phil.3:8 

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ & him crucified.” 1 Cor2:2

Daily Readings – An Evolving Faith

I always struggle to decide on a series of daily readings. I also struggle with keeping going once I’ve picked something.

This year I’m trying the (free) daily emails from Richard Rohr. So far they’re brilliant. They’re not the traditional reflection on a specific Bible passage. They are fascinating, and really helpful. This week we’ve been exploring how Jesus used the Bible in teaching. It’s not too late to start. Sign up here if you want to have a go. It’d be easy to catch up on the readings so far which are in the blog – just go back to 30 Dec

To quote from the first in the series:

As we come to the end of this year, we begin a new theme for the Daily Meditations. Over the next twelve months our focus will be “Old and New: An Evolving Faith.” Today’s world faces so many challenges. Christianity is supposed to heal suffering and mend divides, yet it has often exacerbated the problem. Is such a religion even worth saving?

While there are unhelpful and even harmful parts of what has passed for Christianity that we need to move beyond, I believe there are many good, beautiful, and true gems well worth saving—and living. It is of no use to anybody if Christianity is just a museum or an antique shop where we prefer to collect old things for their own sake. Yet we can rediscover many good old things that are perennially valuable. We would be foolish to reject them….

As we’ll see, Jesus revealed a God who is in total solidarity with humanity, even and most especially in its suffering…. There are plenty of things I still find baffling, . . . but then I look at Christ, and I get a deep assurance that God is good, and gracious, and not so far away. Let’s be honest: that is all we need to move forward.”

A Simple Tool to Help You Make Sense of Life

Yes, it is quite a claim. It’s from a recent blog post by Sheridan Voysey. Have a read.

Sheridan provides some simple ideas on keeping a journal. He also made a post some time ago with a little more detail. Basically you need some sort of notebook and a pen or pencil! You don’t aim to make an entry every day – just from time to time.

Sheridan led the recent retreat we went to at Scargill on the Sermon on the Mount. It was excellent. We think he’ll be leading another later in 2019.