1: Kensington Temple, London
this report | Other comments
30 July 2013
I read your mystery report on Kensington Temple, London, with some
interest. There were some important points made, which I believe
the leadership at KT will take into consideration as they seek to
move the church forward in Jesus Christ. However, there are some
issues raised in the report that I wish to comment on:
How full was the building? Every single seat was
Thank God! A quick trip to many churches around Britain – empty
pews, sleeping church attendees etc – will explain my comment. I
am sure all of you agree. The more people that are exposed to God's
Word in one place or any place, the better.
Was your pew comfortable? My rather ancient plastic
seat with chrome legs was OKish for comfort.
Again, Thank God! In parts of the world, comfort and pews for Christian
worshipers are totally alien concepts, never mind comfortable seats.
But I am sure you all know this, so why it came up, I do not know.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
"Informal" is probably the best word.
You know what I am going to say – Thank God! Who wants to have a
stuffy, dogmatic, regimented, formal preservice atmosphere anyway?
Informal is the way to go. I believe it was pretty much the same
in the early church just after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning! Would you please stand up. Are you ready to
I am sure that you agree that praising God is EXACTLY what should
be done in a service – or anywhere else for that matter.
What books did the congregation use during the service?
Everyone seemed to have brought their own Bible (except me – tut!).
Next time take your own Bible. However, it would be good for people
to share their Bibles with others.
Did anything distract you? Yes: a middle-aged white
woman, inexplicably dressed in an orange Indian sari and black trainers,
who danced and jumped wildly during the singing.
Not sure why you were distracted, Nick. A middle aged woman dressed
in a sari in central London? It is not really that uncommon. She
danced and jumped wildly during singing? Maybe that is how she has
been led by the Holy Spirit to praise and worship God (2 Samuel
6:14-23). Maybe her worship was pleasing to God, maybe not. That
is for God alone to judge.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
We had Pentecostal worship, but disappointingly, it never rocketed
into the spiritual stratosphere.
Not sure what you meant by "but disappointingly, it never rocketed
into the spiritual stratosphere." How exactly did you assess that?
Again, it would be better to leave that assessment to God (1 Samuel
16:6-8). However, the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit are excellent
spiritual evidence and, I believe, much more trustworthy (1 Corinthians
12, 14, Hebrews 2:1-4, Galatians 5:21-26).
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
When our white preacher called on his mostly Afro-Caribbean listeners
to ... cry aloud to God for revival, with the words: "Don't
go all British on me – half of you weren't even born here!"
You may not know this, but Pastor Colin was not born in the UK either.
He was born in Africa, in Kenya, so understands Africans more than
most, and is thus definitely in the position to make such a statement.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking
lost? I went downstairs to the church's welcome area, but
no one was welcoming me or the few other newcomers.
I believe this needs looking at. It is important for newcomers to
be made to feel at home.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Hot, instant, forgettable.
A service attended by 5,000 plus people might not have the best
coffee. But read what Paul was inspired to say about this matter
in Romans 14:14-20, especially Romans 14:17.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Bits of it, yes, but I was mainly worried that if God likes this
sort of worship, then he has no taste!
I believe the "taste" of God should be rightly left to Him. I refer
you once again to 1 Samuel 16:6-8.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven
days' time? Gina's red suit, probably.
Oh dear. I can understand why to an extent. You had a different
agenda as a Mystery Worshipper, so it seems the actual agenda of
a worshipper – to praise and worship God – was sidetracked. But
that is just my opinion. God, as always, has the final say.
Just one final thing: this Ship of Fools moniker. It is no doubt
catchy and amusing, very British and self deprecatory, but consider
this: "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1).
There are and will be no fools in heaven, so Ship of Fools for a
follower of Christ is an oxymoron. It might be prudent (it seems
to me) to reconsider this name. I believe you are not fools. Again,
we have be called not to conform to the patterns of this world (Romans
Thanks for your observations. I am sure they will be prayerfully
reflected upon by the church.
Mr Ike O
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