It has been about five weeks since I have written a blog entry and a lot has happened in our lives. Some of these things have included an Autumn break, many nights of supervising/playing with students, and reading lots of books. Last Tuesday, we began to discuss and read the book entitled, Urban harvest. Ever since the start of book, I have felt a tremendous conviction with my heart. My heart has been with the working class and the church’s inability to evangelize to them in their context (Note: I am not thinking of a specific church). A class system within society? A majority of people would be appalled with that last statement. They would state that class system have been destroyed entirely. However, I would disagree since I have read the first two chapters of Urban Harvest.
Initially as we began to read this book, I like many in the church had a skeptical mindset stating, “A class culture no longer exists in today’s world. Our nation is a land of opportunity, where everyone has the chance to succeed.” However, my mindset had changed drastically since coming over to Scotland. Our culture has readjusted the system to include another subsect, the middle class. The middle class is not entirely impoverished like the working class, nor is it wealthy like the upper class. Once the middle class was introduced into the scheme, the whole class system had to readjust. The working class seemed to get poorer, and the upper class seemed to get richer. In society, church’s began to neglect the working man in their evangelistic effort. They knew where the river of milk and honey would be flowing from.
Why would I include a lot of background information? The background information helps us comprehend how the working class is viewed in today’s society. As I began to think about the working class, I felt a conviction in my heart as to whether or not I have failed the working class. The working class needs to be our utmost priority. Our churches need to stop using the elite’s language and speaking in a common every day tongue. We fail to fill their needs and meet the working class on their terrain. Their has been this expectation that the working class will come to church without invitation. Our mindset needs to change substantially, if we desire to fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28) commanded by Jesus Christ. Roy Joslin writes, “It is a hard saying but a true one that until some more effective way of appealing to the artisan has been found there will be no real revival of religion in the country, since in modern post-war conditions this class has become socially more important than any other. No amount of success elsewhere will compensate the church for failure here” (Joslin, p. 1).
One church that has been going against the status quo is Airdrie RP Church in Scotland. During my stay in Scotland, I have seen a difference between the elitist church and the church I attend every Sunday. Every Sunday, Reverend Andrew Quigley preaches his messages in a clear, concise manner for every one comprehends. If he uses a theological term, he will initially define the term in the sermon. What most impresses me about the RP church is their purpose for everything that they do. Their purpose is to do everything for God’s glory, since God is head of the church. Most churches are unable to comprehend the purpose and will inevitably fail because of it. Further, programs such as moms/tots encourage Christian mothers in the congregation to bring their non-Christian mothers, and toddlers to church for a play time and fellowship.
In closing, the church has become an elitist culture filled with rules and regulations that no done out of a routine. If the people of God desire a revival, then we must follow the guidelines stated by Jesus in Matthew 28:16-20. It states, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. The Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Are we as a church body willing to evangelize to the working class outside of the church?