Questions as the New Format for New Member's Class (this Sunday, Sept. 15 after worship)

Questions as the New Format for New Member's Class (this Sunday, Sept. 15 after worship)

Kristen Miller, in her faith story, shared as part of our website’s theme “Why People Come to OUR Church,” explained:

“Because of Old First, I ask more questions. There are no right answers. No wrong answers. No clear answers. Old First doesn’t say, ‘we believe this,’ or ‘we believe that.’ Old First helps me explore the answers to my questions and supports me on my own journey.

Michael’s been trying to figure out a new, better way to conduct the New Member’s Class. And maybe the answer is questions.

He’s going to try the class this Sunday, Sept. 15, after worship, as a series of questions. The idea being that faith at Old First treasures questions. And there are answers, but not only one most of the time. And sometimes not one immediately or obviously. Because it’s ok to still have questions.

The New Member’s Class has never been a class in the sense that there could be a test at the end, and people would either pass and join the church, or fail and be rejected!

Instead, it’s our attempt to give people the information they want or need in order to be able to find their place, make their home among us. We’ve been trying to answer their questions. But we have been assuming that we might know what their questions are!

Maybe we’d make our point better by formatting the conversations as “living the questions” (to quote Rilke).

He’s still formulating the exact wording and order (and is open to help and suggestions!).

But what if we began the class with an opening question like: “Since we are here today, all of us must have found something in this community, or at least hope to find something. How could you describe that for others?”

Then we might ask, “What are the other questions you have today?”

The rest of the class could be organized around other questions, like:

“Why is outreach so important for us?”
“What can I offer or dedicate to our life together?”
“Where are you coming from?”
“Where/how does our community need to move in order to do all God is expecting of us?”
“What other questions do we hope Old First might help us with?”

It can’t hurt trying something new. Join us if you are interested in seeing how it works. Or if you have a question. Or an answer to share. Or wish to become a member of the church…