Last week we started ‘Christianity Explored’ at church. I admit it: I am not a fan of ‘out of the box’ courses and prefer something a little more contextual. Maybe it is not fully where I am theologically (and who knows where that is?) but it was really exciting.
Exciting? Well, we are rarely intentional about anything evangelistic these days. Even the word ‘evangelistic’ sounds bad: for me it has connotations of people with no social skills, sensitivity or hinterland. Perhaps ‘evangelistic’ is a poor term and the Roman Catholic idea of ‘evangelisation’ is better as it carries connotations of learning and growth. Being kind of ‘post’ I tend to shy away from invitational stuff like this- to my cost.
But a group of people gathering to ‘field test’ over 6 weeks something new is exciting. Everyone knows why they have come: to learn, to remind ourselves, to grow and to evaluate. Please note: I did not put the number of people down- I loathe churches doing that: it often comes across as boastful and ‘look at us/me’.
What was most lovely is that a disparate group put in a warm room with a clear purpose began to talk about things they had never really talked about openly for ages. At points I thought ‘Take off your shoes, for you are on holy ground’- so open were people and so heart rending were many of the questions. It really helped as someone else (a 10 min DVD) did the talking & the framework was ‘you can say anything and no one will be shocked and butt in’.
I don’t know where this one will go or what will be the ‘result’ but I enjoyed it so much…. maybe there is scope for more of this. If so, other things will have to go. But I am excited….