11 March, 2006 1:22 AM
This past week at LivingRoom was one of our big gatherings (where our two groups came together - something we do every 7 weeks).
The night was a first on two fronts.
Firstly we had a sermon/preaching for the first time in 3 years (since we began). Yep LivingRoom is largely a church without sermons!
It's not that we're anti preaching - we're just experimenting with different ways of communicating, teaching and learning. This has largely happened through discussion, dialogue and different methods of creative communication.
Having said that - we decided that this year we'd have a night occasionally where one person would prepare a presentation or talk on a topic in a more monologue (ish) sort of way. This week was our first time).
The second 'first' was that it was the first time we've talked about money at LivingRoom since starting.
We've mentioned it in passing over the years - but this week we spent the night exploring the issue.
The reasons we've not talked about money so far are numerous but the main two are:
1. We've had no real need to talk about money. We don't have a building, we don't pay any staff and apart from an occasional expense have no need to spend anything.
2. Some of us have been part of churches where money became something of an obsession (or a distraction) from time to time. Some of us have also seen situations where money has been the source of big problems in churches - problem manipulation, division and hurt. This is in a minority of cases of course - but is probably one of the reasons we've kept off the topic.
Despite these reasons we've also had a growing sense as a community that money is something that we should talk about. For one it's a topic that the world we live in talks about constantly and so to think about it from a faith perspective seems a worthwhile discussion to have. The other reason is that the more I read the teaching of Jesus (and other passage of the Bible) the more I see that he talked about the topic.
In fact he talked about money and possessions more than almost any other topic (it's second only to 'the Kingdom of God'). Of course his message was very counter cultural and had many layers (not something you can sum up in a night).
As a result this week we began tackling the topic.
I don't have time to type up what I said here right now - but will attempt to summarize it later in the week.