i’ve interviewed a few more people concerning what they would like to see a church in the point area do. all of the conversations have been fascinating. someone asked me if i was going to shape the church around this interviews and i thought it was an excellent question. i’m not really interviewing people as a marketing strategy, like they are a focus group. there have been things said that i am sure will never be a part of the church (i probably should not say never, because strange things can happen). for example one interviewee said she want a church to sing in parts. i don’t really expect that to happen. so the interviews aren’t really to find out what works and doesn’t work church wise for the people we are trying to reach. rather the interviews are meant to hear what the community is saying and then respond within our faith.
yet the interviews will definitely shape what the church will be like. i’m listening to thoughts of people i really enjoy talking with and that will have a dramatic impact on what we do and how we do it. it won’t shape our cornerstone beliefs (JESUS does that) but it will shape how we talk about them.
i’ve decided to post a page that leads people to the interviews so that i have an easy way to link the people i interview to what i am writing. it’s on the top of the webpage and is labeled “community conversation.” for those who just want to go directly to the interview document you may do so by clicking here.
my run for the day distance 6.0 miles
pace – 9:49/mile
weather – 23º
life is pretty exciting right now. as i posted earliertapestry had it’s first leadership meeting three weeks ago with three committed adults, two committed kids, and an adult guest. this past sunday we had our second tapestry leadership meeting (which is supper, reading through the acts of the apostles, and prayer) with our former guest becoming a committed member (woohoo kaylyn!) and a new adult guest. i’ve also had someone else express interest learning more about what we’re doing. like i said it’s an exciting time.
right now as a group we are praying the following:
asking GOD when we would should launch public services.
asking GOD how we can best serve our community
asking GOD to lead us to the right people to help start the church – avoiding wolves both religious and non-religious
on a personal note i finished the year of living biblically today and i highly recommend it. as a minister i really enjoyed looking into someone’s mind as they tried to live out as literally as possible what the bible says. it made for some great moments. some of those moments were quite moving while others were funny enough that i audibly snorted in the middle of emy j’s coffee shop while reading it. it really is a good read.
SIDE NOTE – the photo is an old one of alan lusk when he worked within the great youth ministry of parkview
my run for the day distance – 4.0 miles
time – 38:20
pace – 9:35/mile
weather – 19º/windy
a while back i posted some emails that i am sending to a couple whose marriage i am officiating. they are getting face to face premarital counseling but i would have felt remiss if i didn’t make sure a few things were covered. so i started sending them these emails. this one on sex is the last one.
okay guys here’s the last email and in many ways the most difficult email to write. it’s not difficult because of any Victorian concept of avoiding discussion concerning sex. i don’t really have a problem talking about sex. the problem is that since i believe that at it’s heart sex should be physical manner of communication it seems very ironic to use email, a poor method of communication, to talk about it. still that’s what we have and therefore it’s what we will have to use.
so here goes.
THE ONLY LEGITIMATE REASON FOR SEXUAL INTERCOURSE IS PROCREATION!
🙂 just joking. i just thought i would try and throw you off. it was fun. at least for me.
sex is about communicating love. i don’t personally believe that sex is ultimately about physical pleasure or procreation. obviously sex does involve both physical pleasure and procreation but at it’s best that’s not what I believe it’s all about. i believe that sex is ultimately a physical form of communication between two individuals who are attempting to become one. i know that sounds rather mystical but i mean it in as literal sense as possible. when you have sex two bodies should have become one (you can start your middle school giggles now). i say “should” because it is entirely possible for the two bodies to merely be connected and not really have become one. what i mean is that in sex you can merely have two people who are into their own experience and pleasure OR you can have two people who are completely into each other and each other’s pleasure and at the same time enjoying their own pleasure. sex is one of those rare moments where you are meeting someone’s needs and having your own needs satisfied and by having your own needs satisfied you are also thereby satisfying the other person’s needs also. i know it’s a circular argument but i think the nature of sex is somewhat circular because of that “two becoming one” thing.
so here is what we would basically discuss if we where meeting for face to face premarital counseling.
read “celebration of sex“. it’s top notch and will do a ton better job than i can do in one email.
sex is nothing like what you’ve seen in the media – movies & television sex scenes are jokes. i personally think that this is one of the reasons that pornography is so dangerous for relationships – people begin to think what they see on the screen is reality. it’s not. your sex won’t be like the scenes you have seen in movies and that’s a good thing. it means it’s real.
talk a lot – you’re partner will not naturally know what you enjoy and don’t enjoy. you have to “coach” each other. this means talking things through. hope fully you will get better at this the longer you are married. this is why when done right sex gets better the longer you are married (at least up to the 17th year of marriage – i can’t talk from experience past that). for a natural act sex is an incredibly unnatural thing to figure out well. if you’re going to figure it out you both have to learn to be comfortable talking about it. going back to the unreality that is presented in the media i would like to say that nobody just knows what to do and how to make their partner feel good.
laugh a lot – odd things are going to happen. when the odd things happen don’t think something is wrong because it’s not. just laugh about it. enjoy that you’re figuring this all out together. that’s part of the process of becoming one.
practice makes perfect – sex should get better as you have been married longer. you have to get more and more comfortable with each other. good sex means being vulnerable with each other. vulnerability takes trust. when things go right the longer you are married the more you know each other, the more you know each other the more you love each other, the more you love each other the more you trust each other, the more you trust each other the more you are able to be vulnerable with each other.
i could say a lot more but those are the things i feel most strongly about. i guess this is it for our emails. i’m truly glad y’all are going to face to face counseling. it’s much better than emails. of course, if you have any questions i can be of assistance with just give me a call and i’ll gladly help. my cell phone number is (XXX)XXX-XXXX.
i have no doubt that you will do wonderful in marriage. i am looking forward to your wedding day and seeing you guys hitched.
okay maybe i’m not bob woodward but i am interviewing a lot of people. earlier this week i thought it would be a good idea to start interviewing people concerning what they would like to see a church within the stevens point area do. my goal is to interview 40-50 people that i randomly meet within our community. i struggled over what question to ask everyone. i was worried that simply asking “what would you like to see a church in the stevens point area do?” would end up with answers that had more to do with programs rather than things concerning the actual nature of the church. thus far that hasn’t been true. the people i have interviewed have offered some wonderful insight.
i’ve only interview three people thus far (one church member, one person who says she only goes to church because she is payed to play the piano, and one person who is agnostic about churches) and the discussions have been wonderful. i try not to direct the person i am talking with but i do try to make sure i understand what they are saying. this means i try to let them ramble a great deal but i also ask the same question over and over. the question is “what do you mean by that.” basically i play stupid. even if i think i understand what they mean i try to get them to explain it a couple of times so that i can make sure. everyone has been wonderful. even after the church starts i think i’m going to have to make this a regular part of what i do.
i am typing my notes from the interviews into a google document so as to be able to share my notes and also invite others to contribute to them. if you would like to contribute something please email me (my name @ gmail.com) and i will send you an invite. if you just want to look at the notes as they are recorded you can go here.
SIDE NOTE – the other day we had 5 deer bounding through the snow of our backyard. it was quite pastoral.