Friday, September 27, 2013

On referring to 'my church'

We had good feedback from the MCSA conference this year via Twitter and Facebook. It was great to share a little in what was happening. One of the titbits that was sent out was from the ordination service and was (presumably) addressed to the new ministers - be careful about calling the place you serve 'your church'.

This is one of the oddities of the way we speak. We use 'my' to mean things that we own exclusively, such as 'my squash racquet' or 'my breakfast', but we also use it to mean places that we belong such as 'my school' or 'my squash club'.

While I understand that we as ministers should never believe that we own churches exclusively (they belong to God), we should not be made to feel that we cannot belong to the church. Or even allow the church to feel that we refuse to belong to it.

So just as it is important not to see the church as 'my church', I think it is also vitally important that I do see the church as 'my church'!


Anonymous said...

I can't help being reminded of the story of a child who met the bishop who was coming on visitation to her parish, and asked him if he was coming to "my Church" !

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Wonderful illustration :-)