My experience is that in the course of someone’s life as it is already, God has been alive and at work. With a bit of help from me (and you) we can help them to reframe their experience, and understand that God is not outside their experience or imagination.
We have heard that contemporary post-something people are interested in ‘spirituality’. However, in my experience, while they may possibly buy a book on the topic, they probably will not front up to talk about it.
Use more concrete topics. The following list of exercises can become part of a dinner table conversation, or a conversation with parents at a church play group or with op shop volunteers, or a devotional at an event for review of programme with church-agency employees/volunteers. You see where this is leading.
For an experiential approach, use any of the Your Story sessions except Hearing You.
For a more media-mind approach, any of the Our Story sessions.
It is good to make a small start and then see where the real questions take you. Do not plan out a series beyond a beginning two or three topics if no one has said they want them.
There are some more resources to help you in advertising at the end of this module and on the website.
The Wonder Workshop
gentle exercise for the soul
A GENERAL INVITATION
FOR NON-CHURCH PEOPLE
What makes you wonder? If you know the answer, how often do you stop to wonder at it? Sorry but we are just fishing – we all know there is something more.
It has huge outcomes. Our huge rate of youth suicide is acknowledged as primarily a matter of hopelessness rather than homelessness. Increased terrorism closer to home has impacted our minds despite our bravest efforts. Relationships have lost so much resilience that they resemble consumer items with use-by dates.
It is good that in recent decades we have moved away from massive obedience to institutions. The spiritual searching of this generation has come up with more self awareness, which is good. But it still has not satisfied “this longing in our hearts”. We still haven’t found what we are looking for.
We have had church institutions, and church scandals, we have had church unity and church disagreements, we have had new age and ancient wisdom, but we know that we are made for something more than this.
There are signs throughout the last half century that Christianity has been re-learning its own value and contributing in new ways. Keeping the faith, they are changing the structures. Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King are just some of the newsworthy new faces of Christianity on the world stage. As a result, Christianity is growing rapidly in South America, Africa, the Sub Continent, Korea and mainland China. By contrast, the church in the western nations is infected with cynicism and despondency. What have they got that we have not got?
Simply put, the spirituality of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded for history in the gospels and Acts of the New Testament, is more than a folk tale, more than a cover story, more than a poor man’s crutch. This ancient faith is the wellspring for a thirsty generation. Rather than a doorway into narrowness, it is the door to wide open horizons. Many a new Christian starts noticing the colour in the world for the first time.
The Wonder Workshop wants help people to discover this for themselves. We don’t do it by preaching. The WW helps us all to look simply over many of our common life-experiences, and feel the already-present richness of God’s gift and calling upon our lives. Church people need to do it. Non church people need to do it. We will tackle it honestly and with respect. But be warned, if it does its job, Wonder Workshop will leave more questions asked than answered. We are all on a journey.
Expressions of Interest to
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