MeetingPlace is unique in that we don’t just listen to our pastor speak. We make time in the service to hear your thoughts as well. This can enrich all of us and is part of what many people love about MeetingPlace. Here’s how it works:
1. Remember that everyone present won’t have the same convictions as you – and it’s not your job to convince anybody. This is not a time to debate or to impress others with your Bible knowledge. It’s a time to hear from each other how the teaching we just heard impacted them, and to ask questions of the teacher.
2. Express your opinions as opinions, not dogmatically as self-evident facts – even if you think the Bible is very clear. This can be difficult, especially if you’ve spent time in evangelical or charismatic churches. These churches often encourage people to be dogmatic, opinionated and even forceful in presenting what they believe is true. MeetingPlace is not the place for that. Many of us are here because we see the limitations to that approach. We often bring the perspectives of Catholic, Orthodox and Mainline churches into the discussion and are better for it.
3. We desire a respectful environment where even the most timid person will feel safe to participate. We don’t use cliché statements like, “the bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” or “love the sinner-hate the sin” as these tend to shut down conversation. Beginning your comment with “I’ve found this helpful…” or “I’ve come to believe…” instead of “That’s a lie from the pit of hell!” is what we’re looking for.
4. Be courteous, respectful, and defer to one another in love. MeetingPlace is not a cable news or talk radio show. James 3:17 reads, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”