If you walked into the NYSE on 11 Wall Street in Manhattan, would you feel comfortable? I wouldn’t. How about a factory floor where they are producing glass, cars or books? I’m guessing you would feel slightly out of your element. I know I would.
So why do we ask non-Christians to walk into an environment that we are familiar with, where we sit in special chairs, sit-stand-sit, sing and pass plates of money around.
As we prepare for a return to Taiwan, we are thinking about the way in which we can do church. Does it need to be called church? Many people are judged for going to church, or forbidden by their families to go to “church.” The same people would be fine going to hear a talk , such as “What did Jesus really say?”
Don’t get me wrong, Church is great. The Church is our support, our team, and the instrument Jesus has designed to bring the message of the gospel to all nations.
Think back to when Jesus was here on his earthly ministry. People came out to hear him speak, he did’t always go into the temple. This was a neutral ground. Jews, Gentiles, Pharisees, and local people could go without being judged. “Hey, I just wanted to have a listen.”
Can we create a space like this? I think we can. This is a chance to reach people where they are. If they are being persecuted, then they are safe. If they have been forbidden from going to church, then it’s not a church.
Jessica and I have been thinking about this for a while. Many Taiwanese have misguided views about what it really means to be a Christian. They have been misinformed, and often hold strange information about Jesus that is not true. They themselves also lack a chance to express reasons for their own belief in Buddhism or Taoism. Where did they learn about these beliefs? Do they really satisfy all the answers to life’s toughest questions the way Jesus can? This could be a space to find out.
Feel free to enter into a dialogue with us on this topic. These are thoughts only. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, and any questions will be answered to the best of our ability.