I think there's a limit to how many we can accommodate in the format we used on Sunday. About 130 sat down to soup and bread. We could probably have 30 or 40 more comfortably included. So this suggests that we could only get half our membership together for this sort of gathering.
So, could we do two sittings - one on one Sunday, the other the next? It's a possibility. What does it do to our concepts of the gathered body discerning the mind of Christ. On top of that, how do we accommodate friends and other committed people who aren't members.
One surprising aspect of the meeting was that only half a dozen folk who are not members in the formal baptist sense of that word came along, despite our stressing that everyone was welcome and there being quite a few active, committed people who aren't members.
I'd like to know why this was. I suspect that many felt they wouldn't have been welcome, would not really understand what was going on, wouldn't feel as though they could join. This is a shame because I'd have valued their contribution.
Out of yesterday's gathering, we have a scroll of belonging about ten feet long comprising lots of sheets of paper with jottings, notes and pictures glued on it, the fruit of the discussions over lunch that details people's thoughts on why they feel they belong at our church, what they like and dislike. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll collate all this data and feed it into our on-going discussions.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Further reflections on our lunchtime gathering
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Have you looked into the way the afternoon was advertised. Some thoughts to consider....How many Sundays before hand was it advertised from the front?
What different church publications was it advertised in and how far in advance?
Were leaders, deacons and regular people in the know "gossiping" about it to the congregation at every oppotunity for a few weeks before hand?
Were the welcome team including it in their chat to the people they met coming in.
Maybe all these things and more was done and the simple fact of non members not coming in large numbers is just one of those things or maybe personal invitations are needed from individuals to specific people...like I say just some thoughts.
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