Monday, June 29, 2009

Jesus for Seekers and Skeptics

I have been at University just over a year and we have been gradually rolling out all the pieces of the Pathway to Discipleship. (For a review of what the pathway is all about, check out 'How Goes the Pathway, Part I, Part II and Part III.) This has been, at times, a grueling but always amazingly rewarding process. This past weekend we moved one step closer to completing the pathway with our pilot of Jesus for Seekers and Skeptics. In pathway lingo, this is an immersion event in the meeting phase. In other words, it is designed to give people a chance to get away and ask the question, "What is my need for Jesus and what I am supposed to do about it?" Our initial description of the experience (written before we offered it) was this:

This is a two-day experience designed particularly for those who still have questions about the meaning and relevance of Jesus. It is not designed to force people into a relationship with God but to allow room for questions.

Adam Knight and I designed and wrote the material for this course. The event has really been designed for a retreat setting, something off-site, something perhaps more appealing to people who still aren't sure they are into the church thing. For the first one, so that we could give it a try, we stayed on site using our new youth worship space and cafe. The working version of the offering revolves around four questions:
  1. Is hating the church a reason not to like Jesus?
  2. Will God really send non-Christians to hell?
  3. Hasn't science defeated faith?
  4. Isn't this just about getting a get-out-of-hell-free card?
The talks are combined with lay witnesses who talk about their own experience of the faith and table discussion time where participants can talk and share with each other about what they are hearing, the questions they still have, and the struggles they face.

I want to say, overall, Adam Knight, the lay folks that help to lead and I are really pleased with the first time out of the gate. I think it was a good experience and I think we learned a lot about how to make it better the next time.

A big thanks to our lay leaders and all of the table leaders, helpers and staff that helped to pull this off. We are looking forward to the next one in the late fall. If you are interested, call the discipleship office or email me and we will get you signed up.



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