Suction or Slipstream

Not a section from the instruction manual of my vacuum cleaner. But models of the church as described by Peter Neilson in his book ‘Church on the Move.’ He suggests that most of us work on the suction model of church – hoping to draw people in through the doors. The slipstream model, by contrast, is about believing that God is at work out in the community and that a different kind of church should form in the slipstream of that movement of grace …

Meanwhile, I’ve also been reading that cheery book ‘Turning the Tide’ – Report of the 2002 Scottish Census – which charts the inexorable decline of churches in Scotland. Canute tried to stop the tide coming in – my job is to stop it going out. But it does tell me that the number of people in the Scottish Episcopal Church describing themselves as being of liberal churchmanship rose by 36% between 1994 and 2002. Now that’s what I call a niche market!

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