We had our first (ever - probably) Wine and Wisdom event at church last night and I was very relieved that it went so well. Some of the guys here were very unsure about it (to put it mildly) but I feel that if we are trying to be user-friendly to people outside church then we need to take small risks like this. Afterwards people had clearly enjoyed it; no-one drank too much and everyone knew some answers.
There are a few that don't get it still. Afterwards one person said that it was a shame that there was no Scripture Round and someone else said we ought to challenge the church down the road. But lots understand that it's about trying to be a friendly entrance point into church for people who might want to come and see what we are about at other times. And those people invited friends who want to know when the next one is. Which is so cool.
It reminded me that I am working cross-culturally within my church here. Wine and Wisdom would not have been an issue in my old church but these are different people in a different place. The great thing is that while in my old church people might be a bit blaise about an event like this, for people here that embrace it they are thrilled at the liberation that they didn't realise they had and they are keen to do more. They are rethinking what the culture of the church might look like and they are getting excited about what it could look like. That's exciting for me too. Why should church be boring?
I think I need to keep working at broadening the culture of the church so that it's not so strange to outsiders and to be fair, lots and lots of people here understand and welcome that. But I also have to be careful not to be controversial for the sake of it and I need to understand why people feel the way that they do. We want and need to do the hard thing of taking the church forward together, not the easy thing of taking some of them and abandoning the rest.
I need a lot of that wisdom!