Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Discussions At The Ox! You're Invited

In the next month of March as we seek to develop partnerships with churches across Montana, we are not quite ready to begin hosting Informational Meetings or Planting Team Meetings. However, we've had many people ask us how they can get involved and find out more of what Encounter is about.

With that in mind, we are planning a six-week guided discussion group (aka small group) to explore why people who like Jesus, don't connect with church. It will be an opportunity for spiritual growth like many small groups, but it will also allow those who have disconnected from traditional settings to explore common misperceptions about the Church. We are excited to meet at the Staggering Ox for these discussions – it's the perfect place to have spiritual discussions in a non-threatening environment.

We hope to express the heart of Encounter Church with clarity, boldness, and compassion as we discuss and respond to six of the most common objections and misunderstandings emerging generations have about the church.

To generate discussion and examine our own responses, we will encounter the firsthand thoughts and feelings of those who find Jesus attractive but don’t care for organized religion. From the Zondervan DVD and participant guide to They Like Jesus But Not The Church, we'll explore some of these questions about the church.

Isn’t the church just organized religion that is politically motivated? Is the church homophobic? Does it take the entire Bible literally? Does the church repress women? Is it judgmental and negative? Does it arrogantly think all other religions are wrong?

So the invitation is out. If you are at all captivated by the vision we've communicated for Encounter Church, if you want to explore how a faith community can welcome people in a non-judgmental atmosphere, if you want to discuss how Jesus would respond in these situations – we invite you to join us.

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