On Sunday (9/16) we tried something different (which is normal) at Jacob’s Well. We had decided that the “What if…?” question was a public question. We were trying to engage the community with possibilities this way, so why not in worship? After my message we played a song and then I did the Oprah thing and roamed among the seats and asked if people had a ‘what if’ to share, or comments / questions about the message.
First, I have to say that it takes a lot of skill to pull this stuff out of people in a situation like this; they had virtually no warning. I don’t have that skill yet… It probably wasn’t the smartest way to do it either, but then, that’s what Jacob’s Well is all about. Trying things for good reasons and seeing where they lead. And I like to be a good example in forgiveness-getting.
To my surprise people did rise to the occasion! Why should I have doubted it? I wasn’t overwhelmed with people but several spoke up and said some very good things that gave me a chance to respond (probably talk too much) and help fill out the message in directions that people were actually thinking.
The “taboo.” One person told my wife after the service that he had a “what if” but didn’t think it was appropriate to say it in the service. Kris asked what it was. He said, “What if there isn’t a God?”
I love it. That is a great “what if.” Maybe the best one. In the evening service I shared it and said that his “what if” inspired mine, which was, “What if there was a church where people could admit that they wondered if there really was a God?” If not, then I can’t be the pastor because it is one of my “what ifs” at least a couple times a day.
After the service a first timer said she thought it was so cool that everyone could get involved with the theology in the service. I said, “What if there was a church where that could happen…?”