Church: a place to belong, not (just) attend

By Andy O'Connell and Elizabeth Clayton

The idea of belonging to a church - or any other organisation for that matter - is increasingly alien in the world today. Tim Keller tweets: "Everyone says they want community and friendship. But mention accountability or commitment to people, and they run the other way." Krish Kandiah discerns a movement "towards a more eclectic individualistic spirituality.”

Why then does OCC hold to a habit of 'formal church membership'?

Body, we have no plan!

By Andy O'Connell

In our worship service yesterday, worship leader Chris Fulton said, at one point, "We have no plan! Over to you!" I don't know how you responded to that? Did you see it as an act of brave faith, or of reckless leadership?

"We have no pre-determined plan! Let's see what God does as we meet!" has long been a core practice of our sort of church. When I found myself becoming part of Oxford Community Church in the 1980s, it was standard practice to meet for what some call 'open worship' - and we used to call 'body meetings'. 

One mind, one purpose!

By Al McNicoll

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit..."

Al McNicoll

Extending the welcome of God

By Andy O'Connell

I was talking to our Sunday welcome team last night about the culture and atmosphere of welcome we want to create, certainly on Sundays but also right through our church community - in our central gatherings, in our community life and in our homes. If we are to be an effective family on mission (the theme for this blog!) then it shouldn't need saying that we need to be friendly and welcoming!

Andy O'Connell