On Monday our elders were listing to a talk by Jonathan Dobson. Slightly weird listening to a talk where he’s referencing stuff that’s come from our church, but he’s putting into practice what we’re talking about! Challenging and encouraging.

One of the things we got talking about was his emphasis on constantly reminding people of what they’re about every time they get together. So Dobson uses the acronym ‘SPEL’ (irony?) Shared life and Truth; Pray; Engage peoples and cultures; Love one another.

I was very taken by this approach. In my experience when you stop reminding people of what you’re about we so easily slip back into ‘learned’ ways of doing things rather than biblical ways of doing things.

Someone raised the issue of people switching off to this though if you talk about it too much. Apparently if a picture has been on a wall more than two weeks then you don’t notice it as much.

So my suggestion was – rather than taking down the picture altogether – why not move it to a different wall?

I was bought up in an Anglican church, and we used liturgy every week. The Anglican liturgy is full of some great biblical truth – and yet it is so easy to repeat it without thinking about it. That’s what I did for ages. We’re going through a series on Revelation, and I’m just realising where half the liturgy came from!

But as we were talking about this it struck me that if someone had used that liturgy outside the context of the service I think it would have come much more alive for me. I find that’s the case with songs and of course sermons.

It’s when you’re dealing with an issue during the week and someone says ‘its like that song we sing – When Satan tempts me to despair…’ (I use this one alot) – when you’re next singing that song it becomes so much more real. It would be great if people did that with liturgy – someone is struggling with guilt you could say ‘you know how we keep saying every week that if we say we’ve not got any sin we’re deceiving ourselves – we are sinful, but God promises to forgive us – so lets trust that’.

It’s the same ‘picture’ but its a different wall – a different setting. People will notice it more and it will become more alive.

For me this is another good reason why church has got to be my community throughout the week – I need people to be reminding me of the same truths over and over again – same truth, different settings and circumstances – and then we might begin to grasp how the Bible really does equip us with everything we need for life and godliness.

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