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All Quiet at 24/7

This week has been the six monthly 24/7 Prayer Event in the town that embraces Dibley.  It is, I think, the fourth 24/7 we have done and it has been by far the quietest.  In 9 hours of hosting, I had 3 visitors, all of them in the same 1 hour slot.  Many hosts have seen no-one, and we have been wondering why this might be.

In recent months one of the stalwart clergy has moved on, and there have been no visitors from that church.  Another minister has stepped aside from this initative due to other pressures and again, no one has attended from that church.  How much are these things linked to the minister?  It's a question I constantly ask myself in relation to Dibley initiatives and, as time goes on, try to adopt a more 'hands off' approach (difficult when you are a born organiser!)

I do wonder about the frequency and necessary energy to sustain these 24/7 events.  I have been less involved in this one than in the past, as have other ministers, simply because we cannot sustain the time commitment, essentially an additional week's work (in previous events I've hosted for over 30 hours on top of my week's work - it's too much).  Maybe an annual event would be more sustainable, or shorter 24/2 or 24/1 events (since experience shows that most of the same visitors come whatever the overall duration).

I guess having few visitors had its plus points - I did get to read a couple of books on 'Emerging Church' stuff and plan out a service uninterrupted.  Not sure that is quite the point though!

Have any loyal or visiting readers any thoughts to share on similar intiatives?  If so, please comment!



  • I'm not suffering from profound thoughts today, but I'd be very interested in the two books you read, and what you thought of them.

  • Hi Graham
    'Emerging Church.Intro' (which was disappointing - think I've worked that bit out already in my own mind) and 'Jesus and the Gods of the New Age' (which was interesting but, if today's C of E report is right it's already out of date since apparently most teens/20's think spirituality is irelevant).

    Quite like 'Expressions: the DVD' except it presumes Anglican/Methodist ecclessiology and funding; has some honest & novel expressions of 'church'.

    Best thing I've read recently in thinking along these lines was 'A Churchless Faith' by Alan Jamieson which looks at people who leave churches and 'what happens next'. Not a 'new epxressions' thing but food for thought in watching the 'backdoor' of any expression of church.

  • Thanks. I read emergingchurch.intro, Mike was one of my lecturers. I liked the popular style, and I lend it to people in the church who are interested.

    I'm woking through A Churchless Faith at the moment.

    The Shaping of Things to come by Hirsh and Frost is worth reading, it has to be the most thorough theological approach to the EC. However Kester Brewins "The Complex Christ" is good, if a bit fixated on the urban.

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