"I've always had questions for the church, but . . ."
Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope interviewed hundreds of Christians they call the “dechurched” and report the results in their book, Church Refugees. In one conversation, Emily told them, “I’ve always had questions for the church, but there isn’t much room in Christian churches and denominations to question.”
She is not alone in her concern. Researchers in the Barna Group report that 36 percent of Millennials tell them they are not able to ask "my most pressing life questions in church.” Sunday’s sermon and text may connect to an issue they are currently facing, but they have no opportunity to interact or to clarify.
Dan White, who serves as one of the pastors in Axiom Church, Syracuse, NY, has found a way around that. He has developed a method of dialogical preaching/teaching. He still prepares and delivers a message, but he does so in a way that invites the congregation to discuss it with him and each other. On the one hand, it preserves trustworthy proclamation by qualified teachers. And on the other hand, it avoids the dangers of a meandering talk-fest.
What do you think? In the context of the main meeting of the congregation, would you welcome the opportunity to respond to biblical messages, to ask questions, and to hear responses from others? Please explain your answer.