January 25, 2010

Pub Theology

I know it's been around for a while, church sponsored small groups that meet in local pubs or bars to discuss theology, the Bible and issues of faith. I understand one of the points of doing small groups in a setting like this is to engage individuals who otherwise might not join a small group to discuss theology, let alone enter a church building. I personally have never participated in a group like this (not because I'm against it, simply because I just haven't) but would be curious to hear your thoughts...so, what do you think about small groups that meet in pubs to drink beer (I'm making an assumption that some type of fermented beverage may, on occasion, be consumed) and talk about God?

Is it a cool idea?
Could you care less?
Would you ever participate in a group like this?
Is it wrong?
Have you ever participated in a group like this, if so, how was it?

What questions do you have?


jEREMY said...

I have never participated in anything like this but find it definitely acceptable. Many people including myself have a tendency to not engage well in a classroom setting. However, in a situation like this it seems as if it would be way more conversational in manor and be easier to open up. Not to mention the fermented beverages may loosen up or relax some individuals. Now if in such a setting individuals abuse the beverages I'm against that, but a causal drink while discussing theology would it not be more like the intimate discussions over a meal and wine that Jesus had with his disciples? I also like the idea that it can bring individuals to Jesus that may be terrified to walk into a church. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would be against it, but I think if you keep an open mind the benefits that could come from it out weigh the negative.

Kyle said...

Is it a cool idea?
I definitely think it's a great idea. So many places are neglected when it comes to ministry, bars being one of them. Bars have the potential, probably more than a church, to be a place of sin, but in in no way has to be that way. I think, like jEREMY said, as long as they aren't abusing the alcohol, it's a sweet idea.

Would you ever participate in a group like this? I'll just have to wait and see when I am 21. At this point in time, I don't really look forward to drinking at all, so it probably will not be my calling.

People are more than willing to preach God in a church or on the street corner, but what about the people who like to hang out at bars with their friends, who may not encounter Christians on a daily basis. They need to experience Christ just as much as everyone else, so I think it's awesome that people are called to do so in pubs. This really reminds me of my feelings on video game ministry. For someone who doesn't game, this sounds ridiculous... but when you realize how many people sit on their computers/xboxs during every waking minute of their free time, it's a perfect opportunity for Christians to exemplify Christ and represent him!

Heather said...

i've done this before....in chapel hill. it took a while to get off the ground and eventually flopped. it depends tremendously on the maturity level of the people attending. i was....about 23 ish and still thought i was in college so i drank too much to take it really seriously. i'd be interested in trying it again, from a minister's (and just more mature person's) perspective.

Amy Stempkowski said...

I have no problem with it, I think a lot of people may feel more relaxed in a setting like this than a classroom.

Matt Lipan said...

jEREMY: thanks for the read and comment.

great points! i like the idea of intimacy that you bring up and how effective it could be as long as people keep an open mind but of course that does not mean abuse.

Kyle: thanks for sharing your thoughts.

i like the potential you see in having a study like this in a bar setting. not sure a bar would have "more" sin than the church....just sayin'

i love the idea of a 'gamers' ministry'. i think you're absolutely right and there is no reason a ministry like that couldn't work.

Heather: thanks for the read and comment.

chapel hill seems like a perfect place to do something like this. what do you think led to the "flop"? you bring up a great point about the maturity level, that seems crucial in a setting like this. i could definitely see you rockin' a group like this.

thanks for sharing and checking out the blog.

Amy Stempkowski: thanks for the read and comment.

interesting that you brought up the classroom setting again. i'm not sure i've thought it ever that big an issue for people but obviously it can be. i might have to look into some different settings for discussion and study.

thanks so much for sharing.