The Lantern, Merley. First of all, so packed out at about 250 people, there was standing room only for myself and my South African buddy Marco, who at 6’6” is the resident baby comforter for mum’s as they tire of managing babies. Marco just stretches out his massive arms and gives the little ones a sweet grin whereupon, without fail they drop off in his arms. Marco loves babies – just as well really.
As it’s Mother’s Day today, Rimmer, the Vicar did a great job of honouring women, interviewed three women, and did a brief talk. Bit of sung worship with the guitar led band, a few prayers and all done in about 70 minutes.
Of course it’s then that real Church begins as 250 people all begin to chat, catch up and arrange to meet. So is it just a big social club? Well, it’s true that’s what it looks like, but scratch a little under the surface and people are mostly connecting because their common interest, is their faith in God, and crucially how God is impacting their lives today. So, since there are literally stacks of young families, folks are praying for each other and helping each other with kids, and seeing God intervene in their lives. Needless to say, this is all pretty exciting. I chatted to an older guy who clearly was recovering from a fairly significant illness of some sort. To my shame, I had no idea what had happened to him, so I just smiled along, and was pleased that he could once again talk and sing, and also pleased I wasn’t rumbled regarding his condition!
I think this is so interesting. All over the World it’s like this, which is beyond any social network, whereby people from all ages, professions and social strata’s, without trying, find themselves “being church”, sharing the news of the goodness of God with their chums.
Another really weird thing at the Lantern is the 250 people are always in flux, so new people are arriving, and old ones moving on to a massive degree. This, however is not a problem, it just seems to have a sweet and appealing DNA that seems to work!