Sunday, May 15, 2005

Coffee & Questions

[follow-up to post from last night...]

What kinds of questions do you have right now? Big hairy life questions? Stuff that makes it hard to sleep at night, or difficult to wake up in the morning? What answers are you looking for, those things that are keeping you from enjoying life, or from making a big decision, or from becoming who you are?

I'm sitting in the lobby this morning, blogging and checking email. I was reading, but there's just enough activity going on around me that I've read the same page three times, so here I am on the laptop. The small group experiment we've been trying needs a little push somewhere. The four folks who have been most consistent have other things going on in life, too, and they're not here this morning. It's the third week in a row that we haven't had the discussion, and it's pretty clear that this is going to be a place to tweak the system somehow. I love the preparation for discussion - last night's time in Colossians was good - but I want to be effective, too. If nothing changes, typically it'll stay the same (that'll be so profound to you in a few minutes).

When we started, we titled this Sunday morning pre-service time "Q & A" because of the way I tend to teach. I like to ask more questions than to give answers, and we were going to dig a little deeper into scripture, a little more expository in nature than the morning sermons. And this would be a time for folks to get a little deeper, big group or small, and grow together in asking questions, seeking answers, moving to better questions, etc. Looking back, I think the starting point might have been off - folks already have enough questions, and adding to the glut might not be the best thing. So I'm sitting here with my coffee, looking over the lobby where folks could congregate and conversate over their existing questions. Taking our questions to scripture together, looking at the Bible expositorily to let it read us more than us proof-texting it - maybe that's the tack to take.

"Coffee & Questions" - maybe that's a new title. Or maybe it needs to be title-less, or vague like "Q & A". We all have such deep, life-defining questions. Good questions lead to good answers, which inevitably lead to better questions. Maybe this Sunday morning time needs to be someplace to ask thos questions - a safe/dangerous environment to feel out what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be saved, what it means to share the Gospel, what it means to live as a member of the kingdom of God.


Blogger Bob said...

When I think about it, in order to have questions, don't you have to spend some time "wondering"? How many folks who go to church because it's Sunday have spent any part of their week "wondering" about their life in Christ. Or even about their life at all.

OUtside of those who lead the discussions, I would venture to guess that very few have. I think it is intrinsic in a system that provides service rather than requires it.

I'd love it if there was a way around that fact. I'd also love to be completely off-base.


15/5/05 5:13 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

that's where this might be a special circumstance. i find people at our church who have gone through alot to get there, and most of them are already asking the questions that would have real meaning and potential for change among us. a blurb in this sunday's opportunities guide with something like "we'll be asking WHAT'S SUBMISSION ANYWAY?" would probably get people talking all week :)

15/5/05 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of wondering. . . . perhaps some have considered that there is something major wrong with Christianity as practiced today. Perhaps God is showing you that it's not the Christianity of the Bible. Is it a good thing to commit to attending something that gives people enough of God's things to inoculate them against the reality of His presence? Is it a good thing to come together when your heart doesn't really want to? How can we find out what's real in us when we're acting out a series of prescribed activities instead of living out the life of our King in reality? Did Jesus compartmentalize time into segments of work time, family time, recreation time, all like that and then a couple times a week, put on a spiritual game face and perform certain personal rituals in hopes of somehow contacting God? If we do the routine in order to feel good about having accomplished the requirement . . .we've not shared in His Life at all. Stop trying to be committed, find out where your heart really is and maybe God will begin to talk to you. He knows more than you realize.

15/5/05 10:56 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

those are good questions, but you ended with answers - that's not fair :)

actually, prioritizing time; secular vs. sacred?; "spiritual gameface"; all of these would be good topics for discussion in this type of a setting. but the answer you've proposed, to "stop trying to be committed" has several layers, too, doesn't it?

16/5/05 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly. Who wouldn't be refreshed to be relieved of all the zillions of obligations we're always under and just be free . . .free really, without condemning strings.

ok, here's a great question. Do we ... those born from above, having lost our own lives, forsaken everything etc. do we have secular anything? Are sacred vs. secular the only choices?

If we belong to HIM, fully and unequivocably . . .aren't we FREE?

So why do we not "feel" free?

“Discipline holds great value when your eye is on the treasure. But as a substitute for that treasure, obligation can be a real detriment when it gives you satisfaction just for completing a task.”

that's from
chapter 10 of "So You Don't Want to go to Church Anymore"
maybe you'd like it

16/5/05 8:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home