Friday, November 03, 2006

Don’t Try this at Home

Many churches will be impressed with the latest house group study book “Facing Up to Change”, with its full range of “In yer face” activities. In the introductory study the home group is asked to sit quietly and contemplatively in a room illuminated only by a candle. But the meditative peace is not long lived; the candle turns out to be, in fact, a disguised November 5th “howling thunderclap” and a short spurt of sparks is followed by a head splitting whistle terminated by a deafening report. Participants are then asked to continue to sit quietly and contemplatively until the acrid smoke clears and the sounds of the dying fades before considering some soul-searching questions. Now you might think that all this would be a great introduction to the manner of Christ’s return and our preparedness for it; but no, “Facing up to Change” gives anything that threatens to be a theological can of worms a wide birth and instead puts the inscrutable inner life of the heart under the spot light. Accordingly, as explosions are the most rapid form of change known to man, this is the cue for a series of probing questions on facing change:

Are you prepared for sudden and unexpected changes?
Did the firework disturb your comfort zone?
Can you maintain your cool in the face of change?
Does change make you feel nervous?

Other stimulating study-activities in the book include a custard pie fight (Study 3: “Taking the stick when you lobby for change”), a piano smashing competition (Study 4: “Putting up with discordance”) and a snail race (Study 7: “Getting those boring old f*rts moving in the Spirit”). At the end of the study book you will be sure to want change; at least a change from all those courses and talk about the need to change.

(The above article was first published in the June 2001 edition of VNP)

No comments: