Is Christianity relevant today?

Hi Nathan,

My names is Wade and I serve on our local church’s “Growth Groups” committee. We are currently planning a one time event meant to address the question - “Is Christianity Relevant Today?” We have thought through a number of options on both the direction to take this question and how to structure the event. Our goal is two fold: 1) to support our members as they seek to lovingly respond to neighbors and friends who increasingly see Christianity is irrelevant and 2) to provide a safe space in which both church members and seekers can ask honest questions about Christianity. It may prove overly ambitious to wrap all this into one event, but if that proves to be true our hope is to launch a more permanent and ongoing iteration of this group (something like a monthly “Ask Away”). I’m wondering if you’d be kind enough to provide some guidance? Namely, how you would structure such a time and how would you focus, or on what would you focus this first session? I work at Bethel University and have considered asking a few of our Seminary or University professors if they would attend and form a sort of round table to take questions. I have also considered soliciting questions ahead of time from the church at large as a way to gauge where to start the conversation. In all we are convinced this is a topic which we need to address but are also feeling a little overwhelmed. Any guidance/direction you or others at RZIM could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to you and all at RZIM for providing this space.

-Wade

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Hi Wade, Our experience is that if you do #2 well, #1 will automatically happen. When Church members can listen to someone articulate their faith in public in a winsome and faithful way, it really does encourage them to do the same. The event can also be the training. The biggest challenge is finding Christians who have non-Christian friends who are willing to invite them to an event. AND if you are really trying to invite the skeptic and the seeker in don’t start the meeting with singing to a God they don’t believe exists for 15 minutes first! Think through A) what is the purpose of the event and B) how do we structure ALL of it to make sure that we are reaching new people and not just speaking to the choir? (Which isn’t to say that some choir members couldn’t use a little help here) There is also a question of whether or not a church building is the best place to host this type of event. There are pros and cons to that. I have a whole boat load of thoughts on this that I would be happy to share, but perhaps this isn’t the best format. I’ll send you a message.

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