Connect is a place to answer questions and give information about the gathering we are starting for Wednesday gatherings. As the gathering takes off, this will be the go to place for announcements, digging deeper, or other resources. Here are a couple questions we've received:
Why a Wednesday night service? Is it a prayer service?
The Wednesday gathering is it's own service. If you want to check the box that you went to church, you can. It won't be like a Sunday gathering. There are a couple of reasons: First, many work schedules do not allow people to attend on a Sunday morning. Different time and day allows for people who work on the weekends to attend church. Second, some people need a pick-me-up during the week. That is how Wednesdays started back in the early church. Another big reasons is we wanted a time and place where we tackle the hard questions. Sundays will focus on working through a book in the Bible.
Why deal with the hard questions?
Jesus often met with people at night to discuss what He was all about. John 3, for example, is a skeptical religious leader trying to figure things out. From a church perspective there is a battle between preaching through a book of the Bible vs topics. From an outsiders perspective both are really needed. As Jonathan says, people are talked out of it because they haven't been talked into it. Others, such as myself, were so hurt or wounded by church that giving up is very tempting.
The majority who call Life home were hurt deeply by church. "God I love, church is another matter." But, we didn't give up and gave church a second (or more) chance. For our Wednesday gathering we choose to wrestle with the hard questions we've asked and dealt with. Wednesday is where we deal with why we didn't give up on church or Jesus. Given our story, we want Cross Examining God to be a safe place for skeptics and de-churched alike to be able to hear what church is really about.
Will it be a debate or attacking other positions?
We'll look at hard questions and giving the positive case for Christianity. We'll also be looking at where the christianity dropped the ball and why stick with it when bad things happen. Here is what we won't be doing. We won't be making fun of skeptics and people of different opinions. We won't have the attitude we are superior and others are not when discussing why Christianity is right compared with other systems of belief. We may even fail at this sometimes. Why? Because we struggle too and had to wrestle with the hard questions of life. I believe, for example, that scientists who hold to evolution truly care about and pursue truth. We won't be calling them liars, even if and when we disagree. We know we are imperfect and make mistakes. Churches have hurt people, we're not going to be so arrogant to say we'd never do that. Humility goes a long way.
The idea is that someone who is curious about Christianity, wants to wrestle with the hard questions, or wants to give church a 2nd (or more) chance can hear what Christianity is about, and why we didn't walk away. PLEASE, ask your questions. We may say "I don't know, we'll look into it." We won't criticize you for asking it. We are not perfect, and we don't presume to have all the answers. We do think that being a Christian is reasonable and that it is best for human flourishing.