Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Today I joined about 40 other people by signing a bit of paper to become a partner of Cession Community Church.

I first attended on Christmas Eve 2004, when I came along with Frank and Melva to the midnight service.

I remember someone saying to me “We’re a fairly laid-back church, as you’ve probably noticed.”

Ah, I thought, that’s what you think of yourselves, so that’s what you assume others think of you too.

Then about six months later I found myself living in Botany, so nearby that I didn’t even have to cross a road to drop in, so I did.

Most Sundays, for about two months.

Then, after moving to nearby Howick about six weeks later, I found myself in a bit of a “church-triangle.” Without any concrete idea where I would be living a few months hence, for the best part of a year I kept my options open by going to three different churches, in different parts of Auckland. One of them wasn’t even in English.

One Saturday morning about a year ago I went kayaking for charity, and found myself sharing a boat with a girl who was absolutely outraged that I was being so sinful as to not be commiting to just one church. I still don’t get that, but then maybe I had the benefit of a slightly wider perspective.

There were things about Cession Church that hit a good vibe with me. Some of them include:

1. A shorter worship time. (3-4 songs at the start, then 3-4 at the end) I’m afraid I have never liked worship. That’s just how I’m made. I believe that most of the non-church-going population agrees with me on this one.

2. They feed me a free meal before the service. Aside from getting to have a meal with mates once a week, this makes Cession the only church that I have ever regularly arrived at early.

3. They seem quite chatty, and I haven’t perceived a clique that I’ve had to break into.

4. The pastor and associate pastor’s sermons tend to hold my attention for the duration. Increasingly this is now more likely because I know them both, but when I was first attending Brett didn’t have this advantage. He was just hitting nerves with what he said.

5. Stuff gets said in services that it’s assumed you’re intelligent enough not to take seriously. The What Would Jesus Say? sketches, in which our LORD was cliquey and arrogant, got a lot of laughs and conveyed a clear message as a result.

6. Unasked, the pastor gave me a nickname (and a link) on his blog when he’d only known me for a few weeks.

7. After I had been away for a few months, upon my return a complete stranger came up to me, smiled, and said “Hello” before venting “You haven’t updated your blog in AGES!

8. People agree to disagree a lot. The best example of this is probably Frank’s blog, although Rhett appears to be catching-up. At one stage, someone at another church asked me what Cession was like, and I found myself saying the words “Well, it’s a lot more about asking questions than preaching answers.”

9. One week they showed a clip of a Jeffrey Hunter movie. You can’t argue with that.

Anyway, eventually things with my old (English-speaking) church reached the stage where I just had no reason left to continue going there, so I finally made the switch to Cession permanently.

I hated giving up on my old church. When, after a service at Cession, one of my old church’s members had a long argument with me over my phone, I knew I felt a lot more at home with these people who didn't seem to be so way off the deep-end in thoughtless miserable arrogant extremesville.

I hated to admit it, but they just seemed a bit more laid-back.


0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **