A second scenario: a couple I know recently moved to Omaha. After doing some church shopping, they ended up going to Boystown where the liturgy was packed. In wondering why this was so, they conjectured that perhaps for some people – at this point in their lives - they just needed worship. Their lives might be overflowing (e.g. two-three jobs to survive, elderly parents for whom they were caring) and there wasn’t time to join committees or participate in a six-week adult learning series. They just needed good worship.
Are there people in our congregations who can’t or won’t come to the church for scheduled adult programs? If the answer is yes (it is, isn’t it?), who they are and what their reasons are for what we label as “non-participation,” fall in many, many categories.
Because they fall in various categories, there isn’t just one way of responding to them, meeting their needs, being where they are.
- What are the informal ways our people are already growing in faith? The ways they are searching out on their own? What can we do to enhance, be a part of these informal ways? How do we respond to those who can’t or won’t come to the church grounds?
- Are we where the people are? In what places, what ways, can we provide formative experiences for them?