By Ty Woznek
Evening services have a different feel to them. Dress casual. We will have beverages for you and an inviting atmosphere. The doors will be open at 6:00pm, so if you are grabbing a quick bite to eat, you're welcome to eat here after working, or before your heading off to work after service.
Cross-Examining God is a gathering, so we the Lord's Table, giving, connect cards, and other aspects of how we do worship will take place. If you have any questions, you are free to ask them. Tables will be set up in the Worship Center so there is a place for you to place drinks, write notes, and engage with us. If you are a guest with us, you are under no obligation to give. We will explain why we do what we do.
The core focus of Wednesday night services will be making a positive case for Christianity. We'll state what we believe, why we believe it, and discuss objections to it. Many people have been talked out of Christianity because they've never been truly talked into it. If you're skeptical, feel free to ask questions. We are here to help you understand Christianity to the best of our ability.
The core focus will also deal with why some of us have walked away from church, or have been tempted to walk away from church. While God is loving, sometimes God's people are not. Difficult issues that Christianity faces will be discussed. We are not saying we are the perfect church that has all the answers. Nor are we here to say why we are better than everyone else. Our goal is to humbly offer the reason for the hope that is within us.
At the end of every service there will be a Q&A time to ask questions about what we are discussing on a particular night. On the 5th Wednesday night of a month we will have a potluck and an open ended Q&A. Sometimes we will answer "I don't know, we'll get back to you." This is not a dodge, but a reality that we don't know or remember everything at once. We will take your questions seriously. A mentor of mine once said "Without questions, learning doesn't take place."
We look forward to seeing you tonight and on Wednesday nights in the future.
by Ty Woznek
The following I wrote about 8 years ago. Over the past few years I'd still hold to this as my answer of why I didn't leave church. It's also the answer I'd give as to why give church a 2nd (3rd, 4th...) chance.
I’ve constantly dealt with the question of why 20’s and early 30’s were leaving the church. I never asked why I didn’t leave. Here is a first attempt at answering the question. It revolves around one key thing: God.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 1:6
Religion is a crutch
True. We do not need a crutch, we need a savior. We don’t need help or an aid, we need something that will radically change us. The biggest thing to me about the church is the Gospel. The central message of the Gospel is death to life; sin to righteousness. This isn’t found by a right of passage or a self-help crutch. It is founded on Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Christians are just hypocrites
True. We’re also liars, thieves, fornicators, cheats, gossips, gluttons, drunkards, murderers, slanders, etc. Funny thing is, as I look across the human experience, I see the same thing. The church isn’t made of perfect people, and if it were, we’d at least be liars according to 1 John. Church is family. We’re not perfect, but being perfect is not the point. Again, it comes down to the central message of the Gospel. Church is filled with redeemed people not perfect people.
Church doesn’t meet my needs
True. Here is the paradox of church: If everyone comes to church focused on meeting everyone’s needs, everyone’s needs gets met. Church is not about what you can get, it is about what you can give to others. Why would someone join something that is not about them is a bit crazy. This goes back to the central message of the Gospel: Jesus gave Himself on our behalf. His focus was on our needs and the Father’s will, not Himself.
I did not quit because I believe Jesus died and rose again. Believing this means being a part of a community of people who also hold that belief and seek to proclaim the message of death to life. The Gospel is central. Church is not about what I get, but as Jesus modeled, church is about what I give. The hardest principle to get is realizing the church is not about me, it’s about Him.
I embrace the church because it is Jesus’ most prized possession. In pursuing Christ and helping others, ultimately our own needs get met. In getting the focus off ourselves we gain depth and a spirituality that can only come from the grace of the Cross. In church we realize the greatest need of all mankind and the only solution. We’re messed up, and knowing that fully, Jesus still reached out to us.
The bottom line:
I did not quit church because Jesus did not quit on me, those in the church, or those who still have not heard the Gospel. The church isn’t perfect and neither am I, and that’s ok. Christ is the one who makes us complete and perfect. The problems of church become less and when I pursue God and help others more.