Speaking with a friend from school about church. I explain what our services look like and about how we have kids' activities at each service.
Says friend, "How much does it cost for the kids' activities and do you have to book in for them?"
Conversation # 2
Friend speaking with another friend about church with kids hanging about the adults listening in.
Kid of friend who doesn't go to church chimes in with, "That sounds like fun. Can we go this Sunday?"
Says her mum, "I don't think it is the sort of place where you can just rock up."
I was amazed, surprised and somewhat in despair to hear these conversations. But when I think about it, the further we get from the 1950's when going to church was the norm (in Australia), the further we get from people actually knowing how church even works, let alone the content of our time spent together in church. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I was born in the late '60s (oh, that is beginning to feel somewhat old...) and even during the '70s and early '80s I was an anomaly amongst my peers spending my Sunday mornings in church. I've spent most of my life hanging about churches, but most people haven't.
As I said, I was amazed, surprised and somewhat in despair to hear these conversations. But as I think about it a little more I see that it offers another way into salty conversation with our friends, asking people what they know about church and letting them know that they are most definitely welcome.