Day 16 of 40: Can our laity say the title of this post with honesty? There are only two answers, yes or no. Let’s talk about those who answer “no” first.
If you have people at your church who have not experienced God or are not sure if they have, then one of the best ways to help them is by sharing your own experiences of God. These have to be real tangible stories from your life. The lives of the saints are invaluable and should be included at some point in the future, but it is likely that your own stories will have a deeper impact at this time. Also, if someone is struggling with the existence of God, whether through unanswered prayers or a lack of miracles, connecting them with people who have also weathered similar storms can be quite helpful. As a leader, do you have relationships with people who have weathered storms? If not, consider making a point of developing relationships with people who have truly struggled over the existence of God and come out on the side of Orthodoxy.
For the people who have experienced God, ask them to share their stories with you and then offer feedback. Ask clarifying questions, and then respond with statements such as, “I understood you better when you said ‘this’, but ‘that’ statement confused me.” This type of feedback coaches our laity into sharing their experiences of God with people both inside and outside the church.
The next question: What do people in your church talk about during coffee hour? We will discuss coffee hour tomorrow, and yes, it relates to today’s post.