category: community life
Now and then, I get email requests of people wanting advice about doing Theology Pub (or Beer and Hymns). Today’s response looks like this:
Here are a few things just off the top of my head.
1. Remember you are guests–being hosted. That’s important framework because it puts you on the receiving end of hospitality–and not as a consumer. You will absolutely be consuming and paying for it. But, that is secondary. First, notice how it feels to be dependent upon the graciousness (or lack there of) of your host.
2. A consistent presence—over a long period of time–will result in relationships. You will get to know regulars. Servers. Bartenders. Do you want to be in relationship with them?
3. If you invite people to Theology Pub, don’t try and sneak “churchy” things into it. Like praying. That co-opts what you said you were inviting people to do. If you are inviting them to sing–then sing. People don’t want to get tricked into something else–baited by the promise of an open-hearted event and then they find themselves having to sit through your evangelism spiel. Ick.
4. They will know we are Christians by our tips. Take amazing care of your servers and bartenders.
5. Set group rules for conversations. Ours are: 1. We come from a Lutheran perspective. Others are welcomed and desired. But it’s Lutheran theology that is setting the table. 2. No one gets to bully or convince you of something you don’t want to be convinced of. 3. You don’t get to own the truth or be an asshole about it. What if you are wrong? Consider this possibility.
What would you add to this list?