Monday, February 14, 2005

Just Footy Church?

As many of you know, i have long been frustrated by the cultural gap that exists between the footy club and my church. It just irritates me that people seemingly have to jump over that cultural divide just to follow Jesus. And my dream for a long time has been to create a church that is focussed on, and relevant to, that culture. But now I'm not so sure.

I seem to find myself chatting to increasingly large amounts of people who are totally keen on continuing their spiritual journey with Jesus, but are increasingly frustrated by most of the models of church available.

They all sound interested, and said they wouldn't mind checking out the new church that I'm planting this year. But, would a church full of footy players be relevant to them? I'd hate for any of my friends to not feel comfortable coming to my church, just because they don't fit in with the footy crowd. Of course I wouldn'y say 'na you can't come because you don't play football'-but the unsaid pressure might still be there.

I remember talking to Dave Fuller, an awesome dude who does some great stuff with the God Squad ( a Christian bikie gang) and he was saying that they don't actually believe in bikie church, they believe the Body of Christ should be much broader than just a bunch of blokes of similar age, with similar interests.

I tend to agree, where would the diversity be? What oldies could they gain wisdom from? What kids would be around to inspire them?

I kinda think the same about creating a footy church, and the whole question is really bugging me at the moment? Any ideas anybody?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had always (when you have spoken to me about before) thought it was going to be a 'sports' church not just targeted at football people...

Just me having random thoughts tho cant the location just be at the footy club and therefore a more relaxed feel to it. The idea of it would more then likely get people to to see how it is and the presentation of how your services will either show it is really just another nite for the boys together at the club or that there really is something different about what is happening there even if there are only a few Christians there to begin with...

Maybe have a chat with Steve Scott and see how Christian Surfers do their thing...

This by the way was jo!

hamo said...

sometimes its good to start homogenous in that sense but I agree that after a while you would want the church to move beyond the footy scene and recongise the depth of siritual maturity in the wider church

Trav said...

Hey Digger, yeah i was at VCE Camp. I was assuming that a footy club would have more then footy players..i was imaging they would have older members, even some famiies (especially if their was a netball club connected with it). But do tell me sometime what is the make up of your footy club?

Digger said...

Its funny actually, cos I've always just thought in my head that we'd meeta t my house. Its funny though how many people ask where we'll meet. Its such a non-core issue for me.

But you do make a really good point there Jo-thats maybe not so bad a perspective.

Thanks for posting, and leaving your name!

Digger said...

Thanks Hamo, thats why I think being more a new congregation of Frankston rather than an a stand alone church plant may be helpful, but we'll see what the relationship and connection ends up looking like.

dan said...

I think that as you have the advantage of planting a congregation through your existing church, the ideas of broader community etc might come through your relationships and identity with your broader church structure.

One of the things that we have found helpful is to be intentional about defining our expressions not by the people involved (which can be exclusive) but by the style and function. So we have congregations for people that want to worship in a gen x style, which doesn't presuppose that all of the members of that congregation are actually gen x-ers. As it happens, most of them are, but it doesn't mean that others couldn't become involved.

In your case, perhaps a good exercise is to define what it is about the footy group which would define what you are trying to achieve in the church community - is it that it is church for blokes, that it is uncomplicated, or no-bs church. Then you start to define your community by what you want to be rather than by the characteristics of the members.

Ruthie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ruthie said...

Hi Digger,

I think the root of all spiritual communities is relationship. We can have different hobbies and interests and my goodness, vastly different spiritual beliefs.

This evening I had a discussion with someone in the meeting I attend. She is a Sufi Quaker, I'm a Quaker with Christo-centric tendancies (it all gets a bit complicated sometimes). She's very arty, spiritual and very into mysticism. My contribution of the evening was to say that I thought agnostics who continued seeking faith where the more spiritual than mystics in my mind.

We really do see things differently.

What did we do? We headed down the local Polish restaurant and shared a meal :)

Our unity can be based on deeper things than shared interests and even shared beliefs. Shared food definately helps though :D Maybe that's why Jesus instigated breaking bread and sharing wine.

Ruthie

Digger said...

Yeah thats a really good way of looking at it Dan, thanks for that.

So yeah maybe its a case of looking at certain characeristics of people I want to connect with, rather than where they're from.

I really like the idea of all being from a certain local area, so that you can more effectively be a part of one community, but maybe thats unrealistic in the very mobile world we live in.

Cheers

Nigel said...

The bigger crime would be a church as it is now homogeneously devoid of your footy mates.

Where will the rest of us be without the inspiration and wisdom of Digger's footy mates?

Anonymous said...

Nigel I think the point of Digs vision is that the footy-mates aren't in the church at the moment as they dont feel they can connected or what ever. and what would be so hard about once the footychurch is 'planted' ppl from frankston or any other 'normal tradition' church getting their butts down to the footy-church. why do those without faith always have to be the ones to make the move towards the church.

Nigel said...

Yes anonymous, I agree. So, being bugged about a church of footy mates lacking the great diversity of an existing church actually exposes that this so called 'great diversity' is in some ways a fallacy. If an idealised existing church already had such great diversity it would already include the footy mates.

Digger, if on top of planting a church among your footy mates you come up with a model where the fresh church values seeking inspiration and wisdom from young and old of other established churches then that would be a great witness. I can’t think of many established churches that would seek out the local footy club president to learn what God is doing in the world. Hmmm, maybe I should ring Eddie. ;)

Anonymous said...

Digger- When you start your footy church can you get them all to come to state youth games with Frankston so we can win? ~ jo

Ali said...

Digs, I agree with Jo, invite them to SYG!

One of the things that I have always loved about belonging to a Church family is that it is a 'family'. There are the mature and wise members (aka 'the oldies!') and the babies, and everyone in between, and each of these offer a special aspect to the church. Finding this/accounting for this, would be one of the challenges for a Footy Church, but, to take the metaphor further, there are many types of families!

Great to see everyone sticking their teeth into this one- A.

Carrie said...

The idea of a footy church is great because it draws people of similar interests together. The bible verses that come to mind are from Luke 6:46-49 about "Wise and Foolish Builders." Seek God's guidance always, bring every step of your foundations and building to him and he will guide your steps. "Trust the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5-6 May God's grace be with you.