Tomorrow is my last Sunday at Brunswick - at least for a while. I was talking to someone this week about why I don't think it's the church's job to try and control people's behaviours and on reflection I wondered if our congregation at Brunswick is perhaps one of the worst behaved church groups around?
They don't come to church well dressed, some have not even showered, very few sing in tune, they frequently interrupt the meeting by calling out from the pews or even the occasional loud burp, they bring coffee into the church and drink it there, they get up and leave whenever they feel like a smoke. I've even had to ask some people not to drink alcohol or sniff paint during the meeting.
It's possible, even likely, that the acceptance of these kinds of behaviours has encouraged people to come back again and again, perpetuating a very 'unchurchy' culture. Yet, it's the kind of place that I think Jesus would be able to walk into and recognise his friends. There's not too many places, even in The Salvation Army, that our people would feel as welcome as they do at Brunswick. I'm proud to have made it my spiritual home for the past 5 years.