I’ve gushed about the book The Fabric of Faithfulness to anyone who would listen. Steve Garber seems to understand the place in which I find myself, as well as some reasons for it that relate to my experience at Emmanuel College. My role as campus pastor at Emmanuel had me thinking about this all the time.
Early on, I was asking myself, “How can I reach more students for Christ, or help those who know him grow?” But more and more, I don’t think that “reaching students” is my responsibility. So my current question is: “How can I create an environment rich in possibilities to encounter God in Christ?” I do, after all, have control over the worship environment (to a large degree), so that seems to be where I can effect change.
Another interesting piece to this puzzle is a quote attributed to C.S. Lewis: “One courts a virgin differently than a divorcé(e).” In other words, someone who’s tasted Christianity (well, let’s say ‘religion’) and found it, um, putrid, might require a different relationship with a pastor (and with the Church–note the capital C) than would a so-called unchurched person.
Seems like we (churches) have done a lot of “Taste and see” but we’ve been offering pond water rather than well water. How did Jeremiah put it, “broken cisterns”?