I've been thinking about the unreached in our society, those that as churches we just don't reach. As I've thought about it 3 particular groups come to mind, one is single parents, another is co-habiting couples and the last is those who love playing football.
I wonder how much the times we meet at influence who we reach. We have growing boys who would love to play football but almost all the teams here play exclusively on Sunday mornings, its the same for men's teams. Therefore by meeting on Sunday mornings we are effectively saying church is not for those who love playing football, or we force them to choose. I wonder for how many boys growing up there is a resentment that parents made that choice for them?
Whilst not sure how that plays out for co-habiting couples, I wonder if there is a similar problem with when we meet for single parents. If we find it hard as couples to get up, get ready and get the tribe out imagine how much more difficult it is for a single parents with only one pair of hands. And evening church is out of the question because it is just too late and the children need to be in bed.
Interestingly when we first started we asked our non-church going friends when would be the best time for them to come to church, they overwhelmingly said it would be the morning. But I wonder if that is the case, would an afternoon at say 4pm be easier? Whilst it would feel odd for those of us used to Sunday mornings would it free us up to get involved in children's, men's or ladies football and have friends over to lunch before church, would it facilitate us building relationships with those that at the moment we do not reach?
In short how can we be a church that reaches the parts of the UK which other churches are not reaching? More thinking to be done and more posts to follow.