This space is governed by a very basic, yet very profound principle: Truths and ideas need to be shared. While this is a simple idea it is actually three concepts tied together.
The first is that “truth and ideas matter”.
This first idea may seem self-evident at first but it is profound. The Church is not just a collection of people that gather to sing karaoke. The church exists to continue the same mission that Jesus had: to testify to the truth [John 18:37]. This means that what we believe and why we believe it profoundly impacts more than a set of doctrinal statements. Rather these truths need to integrate into every facet or our lives.
For Jesus, his testifying to the truth was not relegated to the back rooms of an university or a study. His statement that his mission was truth was in the context of his own execution trial. He was not merely advocating a set of principles from an ivory tower, he was actively demonstrating what that looked like. Truth can never be pushed to the corners of our lives. If the things we believe as a church are indeed true they need to move from the recesses of our mind to the forefront of how we live, think and act.
This space is about exploring those truths, learning to articulate them, wrestle with them and integrate them as individuals and as a community.
The second embedded idea is that there needs to be someone to share these truths.
It is tempting to look for someone more experienced, knowledgeable or wise to step up to the plate. You know, people like pastors, professors and authors. Here is the crazy thing though: the church is full of passionate people who have an unbelievable amount of unlocked potential.
As a pastor and engineer I do not really know much about the interaction of the gospel and fine-art. I’m just not an artist. But you might be. I don’t know much about how the Gospel can be navigated in the context of caring for the sick as a nurse. But you might. I don’t know what it’s like to live faithfully in the context of being mother, grandfather or in the environment of an accountant, burger-flipper, office manager, construction worker or solider. But you might.
The church needs to learn to tap the vast experience and passion of those that comprise it. This space is about giving a venue to explore ideas and faith through the wonderful array of perspective that comprise our church. It’s about giving a platform to testify to the truth of how Jesus changes lives and is the hope of the world from whatever context we find ourselves. Socially, relationally, professionally – how is the hope of Jesus breaking through?
The third idea is that it is worthwhile to share these truths.
Our Job is to point people to Jesus. It’s that simple. He is the hope of the nations, he is the one in whom we have hope, joy, life and ultimately love. He is the truth that we seek to declare. Communicating the hope of a restored relationship with our creator in the context of our world – whatever that looks like – profoundly matters. And we need to draw on the wealth of experience we have to be a part of proclaiming the hope of the gospel to the nations.