It is very interesting where you find Christians! Where does one find Christians, even on Sunday morning? We like to think that we find them in church. They are either in church school or in worship. Where do we find them mid week? We like to think they are in a bible study class at church.
We had a debate among staff. Is or is not church school outdated? Should we close it out and move on to something else? On any given Sunday only about one-third of the congregation’s members are in worship. Where are the other two-thirds?
No, we did not find church school obsolete. In fact, we found church school to be very vital and needed. People have a need for small groups for fellowship and for study. We generally gravitate to groups that are like ourselves (age, single or married, interest, personalities, etc.) But sometimes it is difficult to break into a group that has been established for a long time. Some groups welcome new people and others do not.
We soon discovered that we have structured groups and unstructured groups within the life of the congregation. We found that about half of the church choir meet at Starbucks during church school time. Some are not members of the congregation but only sing for the love of singing. Others, while members of the congregation, are not a member of a church school class. However, here they are gathering at Starbucks with their friends in the choir, talking church.
We found a young women’s group meeting in the church, but not a recognized group. None were a part of another small group. Most were members of the congregation. But they just didn’t fit in the typical Disciples Women’s Groups. They were young, not interested in “mission” and all worked during the day. Yet, here they are being church, learning about God, themselves and being supportive as young Christian women.
Perhaps that helps us to better understand Christ’s words, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matt 18:20)