Naked Church!

I’m having a good time thinking where this will turn up in the search engines. But naked church is really nothing more risque than church stripped to the bare essentials. We did it on Sunday. We didn’t choose to. We had to. It was ‘forced’ upon us by circumstances.

When Rufus and I got to the school shortly after 0900 to set up, we were greeted by an open but empty and unlit building. That was unusual. None of the lights were working, plunging the school hall into darkness. We found the caretaker who explained the situation. A small electrical fire had started in the school’s substation so we would be without power.

Providentially, I was surrounded by several men and women who were clearly good in a crisis. We negotiated the use of the canteen and had a couple of rooms for the children’s work. Claudia had her mobile phone, which illuminated the darkness of the store cupboard and we got to work.

It was actually quite exciting. And so much less hassle than setting up usually is. I admit I was a little worried what newcomers might make of it. But I hoped they’d be impressed by our ‘can do’ attitude! And anyway God intended that this day should happen like it did from before the creation of the world. And he meant it for our good. So I wasn’t unduly troubled. And I wasn’t alone. We all got stuck in, we prayed and God even brought back a few newcomers and a new family. How exciting is that?!

Actually ‘naked church’ was terrific. It was different. But different in a good way. It was no massive hardship to do without the powerpoint, the sound reinforcement or even the electronic keyboard. I missed the coffee though! But not as much as the three people who snoozed in the sermon!

Church without much of the paraphernalia was hugely enjoyable. We prayed as usual. We listened to God’s word as usual. We sang God’s praises as usual. But we did it unaccompanied by anything other than a sax and an acoustic guitar. And we encouraged one another as usual. But we did it without coffee. It seemed like God had given us a timely reminder at the start of a new year of what really matters at church; his word, his people and his glory.


15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, [1] if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

6 thoughts on “Naked Church!

  1. cch September 22, 2009 / 4:00 pm

    Sounds like ministry in SA fairly regularly!

  2. theurbanpastor September 22, 2009 / 5:22 pm

    Can I just be clear? Are you saying that you do naked church in SA as a matter of course? I only ask because Andrew Pearson, a South African chap in our congregation suggested in a response to a post I did entitled ‘six things to bring to church’, that one of the key things that we needed to bring to church was ‘clothes’ … it just made me wonder

  3. Fatima September 22, 2009 / 10:07 pm

    Its so good to be reminded of the basics and that all we need is God, His ppl and His word. I bet it must have been fun and a great witness to newcomers:) How truly encouraging. Thanks for that

  4. Tom Stanbury September 23, 2009 / 8:07 am

    I read this and was gutted I wasn’t there.

  5. theurbanpastor September 23, 2009 / 8:35 am

    And you missed a great sermon. I can say that because it wasn’t me; it was Pete. Though to be honest, I’d say that even if it was me!

  6. neilrobbie September 28, 2009 / 9:08 am

    After yet another service where our song projection left lots to be desired and the sound system clicked and whined through the service, distracting everyone, I wonder if naked church is not the way forward.

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