Rhonda is not a Christ-follower. After hearing her story I now know a bit more about her aversion to the church—and what we need to do to engage the millions like her.
Last night Rhonda joined everyone else—believers and not-yet-believers—at our Loveland Lifetree Café location. The topic was “Conspiracies,” which attracted a very interesting assortment of people from the community.
After watching a short film of a conspiracy theorist, the group explored several intriguing conspiracies. Then the facilitator asked the guests to scrutinize the conspiracy that Jesus’ followers stole his body from the grave (as reported in Matthew 28:12-15). It was an animated conversation, to say the least.
After the hour, Rhonda told one of the Christian hosts, “It’s so good to be in a discussion about Jesus where everyone’s not all defensive.” The host asked about her past experience. She said at the age of 10 she was thrown out of Sunday school for asking questions.
And she never went back.
But she’s a regular at Lifetree Café. Why? She’s welcomed and accepted. Her thoughts and questions are welcomed. The Lifetree people—believers and not-yet-believers—listen and treat her with respect. She gets to engage in a give-and-take conversation. She gets to grapple with intriguing life issues—with a spiritual twist. She meets friendly people, including those who share their God experiences with her.
She’s not ready to return to church. But she’s ready to talk about Jesus in a non-judgmental environment that’s respectful, conversational, friendly and fun.