Where do you like to eat?

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There has been some discussion (that’s an understatement) on Internet-Christendom this past week about how we in general run Sundays at a local church level. 

For hundreds of years church gatherings have included a theologically educated leader giving a lecture from the Bible to the gathered community. This made lots of sense in the days where theological education was largely inaccessible outside of university or seminary. I like to compare this kind of teaching/learning to a dining room. When we eat in a dining room it is common that one person has prepared ingredients and cooked the meal for us. We have used little skill or effort to receive a meal. Dining room Christianity provides knowledge which is great.

I think that we need to begin a move away from the dining room and create a culture of kitchen Christianity. Theological resource is a google search away for huge percentages of our congregations. We should be in the business of teaching the skills of mission, exegesis and Bible study much as we teach someone how to cook. Kitchen Christians bring a richer culture to their church communities. Everyone has something to bring.

How can we change what we are doing to create these kind of Kitchen churches? I have pictures of smart phones, iPads and Bibles on people’s laps in church and the leader crowd sourcing ideas. I’d love to hear any other ideas.

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2 thoughts on “Where do you like to eat?

  1. jsawilson says:

    I like the idea of kitchen-style churches. On Twitter I mentioned the ‘mental arithmetic’ style of teaching. Let me say more:

    Let’s say you give two people a fairly complex mathematical puzzle to work out. One of them gets pen and paper and works through the stages to come up with the answer; the other – a brilliant mind – works it out in his head and tells you the answer. Both give you the correct answer but only one of them has given you the means to work out puzzles on your own.

    Mental arithmetic preaching might wow the audience – ‘Wow! Where did he get that from – clever preacher’ – but better preaching will help listeners to want to engage more with the text.

    I suspect your discussion here may require some sort of clear definition for teaching/preaching and a close look at biblical data.

    You may be interested in an open lecture at BBC in Dunmurry on February 20. Visiting speaker looking at church as a learning community.

  2. Thanks Alan. I will see if I can attend that. Sounds interesting.

    I think you are right. I loved some of the things that Mars Hill Seattle used to do with text messages and Q and A. I agree that it would be allowing the baby to run down the plug if we curtailed the use of preaching. Perhaps training for leaders in creating interactive environments is a way forward.

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