"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind", Rom.12:2

There is a widespread belief that unless we abandon Prayer Book worship and adopt a pop culture service form, our church will die. In Evangelical circles we call it "accessing seekers" and we implement it as if it were an evangelistic imperative. Although only a people management process, we authenticate it with "gospel" language.

The "seekers" we now try to access are young families - the children of the middle-class baby boomers. During their Primary School years we removed them from the worshipping community of God's people and indoctrinated them into a free form of Pietism in Sunday School. We taught them that "Jesus loves good little boys and girls", while isolating them from the reformed faith and form of Prayer Book Christianity. We then introduced them to a pseudo Sunday evening worship service which by now functioned as a Youth Fellowship activity in the hands of the band, youth leaders and the youth minister. The Prayer Book was but a memory. The hormonal hype of these semi-charismatic happenings carried the kids on until they drifted away into that state we call "marital bliss". The burning issue we face today is, how do we "access" these carefully crafted socialized nominals back into the life of their local Anglican church?

It's hard to imagine why we would set out to destroy a form of Christianity which has powerfully served believers in the business of nurture and evangelism, to pander to the social and success needs of upwardly mobile middle-class young families. And we dare to call the "accessing" game evangelism. It's little more than a form of secular social engineering. Pull the right strings, and you can get anyone to do anything.

Christ grows his church through the faithful proclamation of his word. We have forgotten to rely on the grace of God.

[Pumpkin Cottage]