My wife and I joined our congregation yesterday on Member Sunday; five others joined, too. It’s a very small lay-led congregation, with a membership in the dozens from what I’ve seen this last year-and-a-half we’ve been attending. It’s small, but the energy is good, and though the average age appears to be somewhere south of the neighborhood of Methuselah, there are families with children across the whole age-range, a range which includes our soon-to-be-new-born.
Shortly before the invitation to sign the Membership Book, current members were giving testimonials about their membership whys and whats, and all like that. At one point, a woman who has come to a couple or a few services spoke up, apologizing, and admitting to really not understanding what was going on. What she did not understand was how we would be a congregation, a church, if we did not agree on certain theological points. As she spoke, and everything she said came out in a tumble, she said she is a Christian, but cannot accept the Trinity. But with the wide range of beliefs she’s heard at our congregation… she was having a difficult time wrapping her brain around it all.
Who can blame her?
There was a lot of eagerness within the congregation to talk with her about how this can be, and how it all comes together. There were a few minutes of discussion with her, and then the service leader encouraged her and the rest of us to continue the conversation during coffee. I was way impressed–with the woman who spoke up, with the congregation members who heard her ‘you people’ for what it was (not an attack) and answered her questions in a way that further opened the possibility for conversation, and with the leadership who redirected the energy of the room in a deft and timely way.
So, anyway. My wife and I were glad to join up after an exchange like that.